Resources: Saving Sacred Mauna Kea

Thursday, July 18 Update: Hundreds of Astronomers Denounce Arrest of Native Hawaiians Protesting Thirty Meter Telescope


Friday, July 19 Update: The resources below are from a pinned post attached to several live feeds from Mauna Kea.
ORGS TO SUPPORT:
KAHEA’s Aloha ‘Āina Support Fund, which prioritizes frontline logistical support for non-violent direct actions taken to protect Mauna Kea from further industrial development now: https://org.salsalabs.com/…/don…/aloha-aina-support-fund
HULI! https://actionnetwork.org/fundraising/huli/ or http://www.paypal.com/paypalme2/hulinvda
BAIL FUND: http://hawaiicommunitybailfund.org/
Maunakea tees from http://www.hifinest.com. with 100% of proceeds to go to HULI for frontline efforts of Maunakea PROTECTORS.

Dear Readers,

This is urgent. I appeal to my national and international readership on behalf of Mauna Kea.

In the spirit of solidarity and signal boosting for the Kia’i (Protectors) of Mauna Kea on Hawai’i Island, I want to share several resources for those who want to learn more and/or help from afar. The protection of Mauna Kea is a deeply emotional, cultural, spiritual, long-term justice struggle for the Kanaka Maoli (native Hawaiians). The struggle to protect this mountain from desecration and environmental destruction has been going on for decades. Decades.

I’m not posting ’cause this is a hot, new issue about to go viral on social media. This is not a new cause for me. As an ally, I’ve been peripherally involved in supporting the protection of Mauna Kea for at least sixteen years. (However my story is not important, except to me.)

Right now, our focus should be solely on the Kia’i and what we can do to assist them, and the Mauna, the sacred mountain. Here is footage of some of the arrests of thirty or so elders today. 

VIDEO: Kupuna Arrested, Saddle Road Closed – Mauna Kea Update

I’ll paraphrase what one of the Kia’i said on camera today: Mauna Kea is the piko, the center, right now. What happens there matters, more than you can know. Here are some things you can do and learn, which would be helpful.

Resources and Things You Can Do

First, Kapu Aloha. Learn what you can about Kapu Aloha and do your best to stay within that during your activism. Here’s a “101” video from ʻŌiwi TV that will inspire you. As a settler-colonist ally used to entitled and confrontational action (Berkeley-style), I have to say this is one of the most difficult things I’ve had to continue to learn. And I’m not “there” yet. But Kapu Aloha is essential and it is demanded in the sacred struggle to protect the sacred Mauna. How you do something matters as well as what you do.

Here is something more about Kapu Aloha, via Hawai’i Public Radio.

Learn what the issues are. KAHEA-the Hawaiian Environmental Alliance has several pages of important background. You could start here, with Sacred Summits.

Donate to a Legal Defense Fund. As I mentioned above, this morning about 30 or so kupuna (elders) were arrested by police. More arrests are sure to follow. Give to the Mauna Kea Legal Defense Fund which is operated by KAHEA–the Hawaiian Environmental Alliance, an excellent group.

Understand that Hawai’i has a law against desecration, including that which causes public outrage. Pay special attention to (2) below:


§711-1107 Desecration. (1) A person commits the offense of desecration if the person intentionally desecrates:
(a) Any public monument or structure;
(b) A place of worship or burial; or
(c) In a public place the national flag or any other object of veneration by a substantial segment of the public.
(2) “Desecrate” means defacing, damaging, polluting, or otherwise physically mistreating in a way that the defendant knows will outrage the sensibilities of persons likely to observe or discover the defendant’s action.
(3) Any person convicted of committing the offense of desecration shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment of not more than one year, a fine of not more than $10,000, or both. [L 1972, c 9, pt of §1; gen ch 1993; am L 2002, c 198, §1]

Offer Prayers. This blog, HE WAHĪ PAʻAKAI: A PACKAGE OF SALT by Emalani Case, has twelve prayers you can say for Mauna Kea and its protectors. Prayers really help.

Do Lots of Other Things. Emalani Case’s blog also has a post which describes thirty things you can do to be helpful even if you can’t go to Pu’uhuluhulu and the Mauna Kea access road to stand with the others who are standing there now.

For example, #21 says: “Educate yourself and educate others. Learn about colonialism and settler colonialism so that you can recognize their tactics and call them out.” This is very important for those of us who are allies, but not Kanaka. We need to call ourselves out, whenever possible. It’s not easy. I’ve got over sixteen years worth of mistakes to learn from.

Follow Emalani Case’s Blog. And go ahead, read both the entries above. Seriously. You’ll learn so much.

Learn the historical, political, and land use facts of Hawai’i, which provides the  context of the struggle re: The Hawaiian Kingdom Blog. You could start with this one pertaining to the destruction of Mauna Kea’s summit which has already taken place.

KAHEA also has a timeline of legal actions pertaining to Mauna Kea, since 2011.

Watch Mauna Kea: Temple Under Seige —for free. This is a documentary about an earlier struggle to prevent desecration on the Mauna.

Learn the words to the chorus of this song, at least: Kū Haʻaheo E Kuʻu Hawaiʻi by Kumu (teacher) Hinaleimoana Wong-Kalu. Go to http://kanaeokana.net/portfolio-items/ku-haaheo-e-kuu-hawaii/

Use social media to stay up to date. Right now, the situation is changing moment by moment, day by day. You might want to check out some of the Facebook groups, like this one.

Wear the message that Mauna Kea is sacred. Here’s one link.

Finally, help me Signal Boost! Share any or all of the links above–or even this blog. “Likes” and shares will help get the word out. We need to get the info out and active. Let’s help each other to reach a mass tipping point in stopping the desecration that is so deeply hurtful to na Kanaka Maoli.

I will add more to this post as I find more links. For now, I hope this gets you started. Thank you so much for your interest and your help.

Protect Sacred Mauna Kea

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Design by Laulani Teale.

Day 17: Plays Well With Others?

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Artist to come. Public Domain.

What happens in the lore stays in the lore. Or does it?

Today’s devotional question is: “how does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?”

I might be answering this question through the murk of my own social anxiety issues, but my first thought reading this question was, “according to the lore, Loki’s been through a shit show with the other gods.” Sure, there are tales of rollicking adventures (amorous ones too) and a fair share of drunken comradery, but also an awful lot of truly dreadful manipulation and worse–much of it directed at Loki, mind you.

However I have to keep in mind that only a fragment of the old Norse lore survives and that there were probably many more stories, now lost forever. Some of those stories could have modifed how we currently view Loki’s relationships to other deities, at least those within the Norse pantheon.

A Polytheist with a Patron

As Loki is my patron, I consider his guidance and direction as having extra weight in my spiritual life, so keep that in mind as I relate the following. Also what follows is entirely based on personal gnosis, as there is no old lore that I know of that can tell us how Loki interacts with deities and spirits from other spiritual/cultural pantheons.

In addition to Loki, I mainly honor Freyr, Freya, and Gerda in the Norse pantheon. But since I don’t stick strictly to Norse deities, sometimes things feel a little confusimg. At times I have a vague sense of discomfort–a “I hope they all like each other” feeling– when I view the collection of candles on my altar and think about who each candle represents. And since Loki gets the lion’s share of attention in my life, I hope the others don’t feel neglected.

I do recognize that I’m not responsible for how these folks interact with each other, and how they carry on their relationships. Nor do I understand enough about what those interactions are, at any given moment of (non-linear) time. Still, I have “feelings.”

For example: At times I’ve gotten the feeling Freya isn’t all that into me as a devotee. She was on my altar before Loki, and I sometimes wonder if she resents how he’s taken precedence. I may need to follow up on that, though the last time I checked in (via pendulum), she was okay with having a place in my devotions. I have a fondness for Freya, but also experience a lack of closeness that actually predated Loki’s arrival. In this case, are my feelings due to Freya’s response to me as a devotee, or to Loki, or both?

Gerda is quiet and self-contained. I don’t feel she’s that interested in having devotional attention in general, but she’s a good plant teacher for me and I appreciate her for that. I also don’t want to ignore her, as Freyr’s wife. She seems neutral about Loki.

Freyr is one of my two “non-toxic masculinity” deities. (The other, of course, is Loki.) Freyr seems bluffly chill with whatever I do and there’s no feeling of competition. Loki seems okay with Freyr as well, though I get the slight sense that he considers Freyr a little “square” or his role as a harvest fertility god may be slightly passe, given the horrendous challenges of climate change. Again, this is all personal gnosis.

So, these four Norse deities don’t seem to work together much, in my life, and I find myself approaching them separately, except for requests for general blessings from all. Of course Freya, Freyr, and Gerda also have closer family ties with each other than they do with Loki. He’s very much the outsider in that regard.

For some reason, the rest of Loki’s family are not yet “in play” in my life. I acknowledge them of course, and honor them in my heart, but I’m not yet “introduced.” (And I get a slight feeling Freya is sniffy about Sigyn, for some reason. Anyone else get that?)

Outside the Norse pantheon, there are a few others. I have have a few vague feelings about how Loki interacts with these others, or is viewed by these others, but again, it’s all personal gnosis.

I’ve been aware of Bast as a cat goddess for decades, and have felt drawn to her as a result, but it didn’t occur to me to make offerings until this year, when one of my cats was ill. Aside from cats, her emphasis on pleasure, music, and dancing is also healing to me. As for Bast and Loki, I don’t sense much going on between them, at least in the context of my practice, but I sense it would be cordial, at least. There’s a kind of “yeah, we see each other at parties” vibe.

In other cases, I’ve become interested in a deity or spirit because of some prompt from an ancestral lineage.

Ancestors in my father’s mother’s line (and another lineage) indicated a spiritual connection to Brigit/Brigid. A few months ago I began to honor her in her pagan aspect (I’m not equipped to deal with the Christianized version of St. Brigid). She seems neutral with regard to Loki and the others, somewhat set apart. I hadn’t know Brigid was associated with poetry–or fire–until I began to learn about her (I was interested to read Kyaza’s Q. 17 blog today, which reports feeling a distinct antipathy between Brigid and Loki.)

Goetic Amy–not a god but a fallen angel with an interesting CV–is someone I’ve been saying “hello” to, via a weekly offering of wine. But I have not yet “worked with” Amy in any sense. Goetic Amy seems to have been important to someone in my maternal great-grandfather’s line and that’s mainly the reason for my greetings, though there may be a situation coming up that would prompt me to ask for help from this spirit. Amy is a fire spirit who also gender-shifts, so there is a superficial similarity with Loki. However Amy seems serious, reserved, and scholarly–not a trace of “madcap” humor. With Loki and Amy I sense a mutual (distant) respect but a distinct “we move in such very different circles” vibe.

Just this last week, I was surprised by another nudge or poke from The Morrigan. This had happened before, a few years ago, but I wasn’t spiritually or emotionally ready to investigate. When this happened last week, I checked in with Loki (via pendulum) and the feeling was, “it’s cool with me, but learn everything you can before making a decision either way.” There was also a kind of “You think I’m intense? Just you wait!” feeling behind this cautionary advice.

Using a fresh pendulum in hopes of contacting The Morrigan, to show her the courtesy of acknowledging her signal, I asked her if she knew Loki was my patron. There was a kind of “Hmmm, no, actually” feeling, with a bit of a slight withdrawal in learning that Loki is paramount in my life. But that was replaced with a feeling that she “might possibly consider a limited contract or specific interaction” relationship. These words are much more definitely expressed than the actual feeling, by the way. I also got the feeling that The Morrigan’s hesitation, modifying the pendulum indications, had more to do with my being already “taken” (oathed) than a reaction to Loki in particular. I could be wrong.

(Again, I’ll be going slow and learning more before I make a decision. Lora O’Brien’s videos are invaluable. I also have Morpheus Ravenna’s The Book of the Great Queen, which I purchased a few years ago, after what I thought was the first nudge.)

Though I have released my practices with Hawaiian deities (mainly Pele) after leaving the islands in 2017, this week I am chanting and lighting a candle for Poliahu, Mauna Kea’s chief goddess, and for the Kia’i (protectors) who are actively resisting the construction of the TMT (Thirty Meter Telescope). Though Poliahu’s candle is now on my altar for the next few weeks, there is no sense at all of interaction between Poliahu and Loki, or any of the others for that matter. It’s very separate and specific, a time-limited action and show of support.

So, there you have it. My own personal gnosis about how Loki interacts with others (or doesn’t), in the context of my own practice as detected through pendulum and intuition. I feel everyone is different in detecting such affinities or antipathies, though there might be similarities in what some of us perceive. I am actually glad that these differences exist. I believe our own personalities and wyrd have a lot to do with this.

Hail Loki!

Day 16: Wild One

Loki is the wild child, the consummate outsider, the charming iconoclast, the “everywhere but belongs nowhere” guy, a shapeshifter, a sky walker (“you can’t catch me!”)… So today’s question seems easy to answer at first: “how do you think this deity represents the values of their pantheon and cultural origins?” Snap! “He opposes them!” And then I pause, “but not entirely.”

Gurgy_2008_LjapunovDiagr1-7-4
Artist to come. Public Domain.

Personal gnosis: I see and feel Loki more as a source of revelations than a figure who represents values or even anti-values. Though he does have a narrative function as the irritant, the villain, the anti-hero, the outcast, and even as a tragic figure–he holds up a mirror to the deities. Just by being who he is and doing what he does, he can throw their hypocrisy and cruelty into stark relief. If they continue to be obtuse, he’s willing to tell them to their faces. As we observe him in action, Loki reveals often ugly truths about the others (and sometimes unpleasant things about himself). He seems to say, “Watch and learn, O Midgard!”

And yet, as a Jotun “giant” adopted into the Æsir as Odin’s blood brother, he also seems to have been complicit, collaborative, and obedient–willing to serve as a functioning member of his new family. The bonds of kinship–including “blood brotherhood”–were very important in the culture of the old lore, but Loki is often troubled by family conflict. Dagulf Loptson says it very well: “when the two sides of your family are battling each other, which side do you align yourself with in order to fulfill your family responsibilities?” (Playing with Fire, p. 14). Loki’s family values are also challenged when his children are deliberately harmed by other members of the Æsir. And no one seems to have offered him weregild, either, as seems to have been the custom for making amends. (Personal gnosis: I feel no amount of that would have made it right for Loki, anyway.)

Another “value” that seems reflected in the old Norse lore, is what Dr. Jackson Crawford calls “hyper-masculinity” in his Lokasenna video. (I do think subtitling this “truth-telling” poem as “Loki’s Locker Talk” is somewhat superficial, however.)

Crawford translates one perjorative as “sissy” and Loki and Odin trade this one back and forth in the poem. Though Odin and Thor have both taken on the clothing and identity of women at times, Loki is the one accused most often of having a versatile gender repertoire, including a more subtle and nuanced masculinity. (Gender-shifting is one reason so many Lokeans are drawn to him, including yours truly.)

Lokasenna also seems to present sexual fidelity of women as an Old Norse value, as Loki exposes love affairs of the goddesses, including their love affairs with him. Therefore, Loki would seem to be subversive of this value, rather than an upholder of it. It’s obvious some of the other gods also subvert this value–via seduction or worse–not just Loki.

There is certainly much more that could be said on this topic of “values,” but I feel constrained today by lack of time. Perhaps I’ll revisit this again when these “30 Days of Devotion” are over.

Loki, darlin’, this one’s goin’ out to you!

 

Hail Loki!

 

 

Signal Boosting–Protect Sacred Mauna Kea

7/17/19 Update: People are no longer chained to the cattle guard, but many kupuna (elders) are now being arrested. Some are in wheelchairs.


 

67164068_273348043532117_8470085410800795648_oKia’i–Protectors–have literally chained themselves to a cattle guard in the Mauna Kea access road, and are blocking it, to prevent further desecration of the sacred mountain of Mauna Kea. The Big Island News video (link below) shows commentary by professor Kaleikoa Kaʻeo and Walter Ritte, both well known activists and cultural practitioners, as they are chained to the cattle guard. They are still there, last I heard.

VIDEO: TMT Opponents Chained To Cattle Guard On Mauna Kea Road

Want some backround? Watch Mauna Kea: Temple Under Siege, a stunning documentary in full and for free. This tells the story of an earlier struggle to protect Mauna Kea from desecration. Many of the same people are still involved, though some have passed on. And younger activists are coming up all the time.

So for the record, I don’t just hang out with Loki and other Norse and Celtic deities, I also stand (in awe) with Poliahu and her people in this struggle, and have since the mid-2000s.

#KuKiaiMauna #SacredMaunaKea #AoleTMT

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Artist: Laulani Teale. Used with permission in the context of support for the Kia’i.
Photo on 7-17-19 at 1.22 PM
Showing support from Lake County, CA. One of my activist friends on O’ahu suggests that people make signs, take photos, post them on social media, and note location to show widespread internatinal support.

Day 15: Just Add Loki

“Mundane,” in the sense of boring or dull, is not a word one usually associates with Loki. But today’s topic asks us if there are “any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?” Mundane in this sense means “earthly” rather than spiritual.

But I am so not down with this binary: “earthly” vs. “spiritual.” I don’t experience the world in this way. Probably it comes from doing entheogens and reading occult books in my formative teen years. Or maybe I was just always a weird kid, turning rapidly now into a weird old lady. In other words, I am quarreling with the premise behind this question.

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Artist to come. Public Domain.

That said, I really like the explanations given in Kyaza’s post today on this same topic.

But there really is no such thing as “mundane” in the “vs. spiritual” sense. Every single friggin’ atom of everything is chock full ‘o divinity, we just don’t always perceive it. (Yes, as a wee lass, I admit I was reading Aldous Huxley’s Doors of Perception…) So the gleaming stainless steel bowls about to receive my cats’ morning rations–those marvels of form and function–could potentially reveal their suchness and numinosity at any given moment, and my world would be unmade.

It wouldn’t be the first time, either. And for me, the potential deliverance of liminal perception and experience, intrinsic to all things, is where Loki dwells. It’s his promise. (He’s not unique in promising this particular thing, of course.)

So when we consciously and intentionally engage in spiritual practices we reflect acknowledge of this. We’re not transforming offerings into sacred objects for deity consumption, we’re acknowledging the sacredness they already have through the act of offering. A “sweets to the sweet” sort of thing. It’s yours anyway, so take it!

I’m yours anyway, so… Surrendering the small stuff. Making room for the numinous.

Of course, we humans dwell overmuch in the mundane as in “Booooring! The cats need to be fed, same old, same old. Fuck, what am I going to wear to work? Why won’t he put the toilet seat back down after he uses it?” That kind of thing. But dwell overmuch in the numinous and you’re one for the looney bin–or rather, these days–the cruel streets or one of those brand new concentration camps.

The balance. One foot in one world (sparkles!) and one foot in the other (meh), except it’s really you doing/being both at once, both feet connected to the rest of your body of electro-magnetic energies and minerals, dancing in the in-between and both. Not wave or particle, but both at once.

So the cure for the boredom that ails you is to wake up to the sparkles (or the horrors, sometimes) that are always there. Just add Loki! (Or any other deity.) You’re guaranteed an experience of something that just might blow your socks off and give you a reason to laugh, or at least feel something other than ennui.

Not looking forward to this year’s dreadfully difficult Thanksgiving Dinner with relatives? Just add Loki! (And duck…because that dish of cranberry sauce might go airborne.)

I could go on, but I’m sure you get the idea. Zest is obtainable. Possibilities are endless.


In this spirit, I offer a link to a google drive page of Ariel Gatoga’s lectures. If you scroll to the second roll from the bottom you’ll find my favorite, A Charmed Life (6/2/17). The message is: “Be a witch. Charm your wallet. Charm your shoes. Charm everything you have and do. All the time. Why not?”

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1QFX6glk7pcSPJ1C8pdjrmc5ON0ltk8LW


Hail Loki! (And Blessed Be!)

And a huge thank you to Ariel Gatoga, wherever he may be. He’s been an important online teacher for me but he seems to have vanished from the internet.

 

 

 

 

Day 14: In a Word, Donuts

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Today’s “Thirty Days of Devotion” topic asks if there’s a difference between ancient and modern worship of Loki. The answer is a resounding, artisan-grease infused, sprinkle-spattered “YES!”

So far, archaelogical records do not show that the Old Norse had anything resembling the cholesterol-crunching goodie we today know as “the donut.” Cane sugar arrived in Europe by the 1100s, making inadvertant contemporaries of Snorri Sturluson and a key donut ingredient. However, it was incredibly expensive, known as “white gold”, and until the 18th-19th centuries was reserved for the very rich. Simple folk offering baby teeth to Loki via the hearth-fire could not have known that the future held a far more delectable and acceptable offering, one whose very shape invoked the World-Encircling Jormungandr and whose endless variety echoes the consumate shape-shifting of the great snake’s Dad.

Furthermore, two donuts, side by side, approximate the symbol of eternity. Ponder that if you will! And that shape with a hole in the middle is as good as a hag stone for some. (Sadly, they seldom last as long.)


Fun fact: For a long time, Sweden consumed much less sugar than the rest of Europe. Sweden then began to produce beet sugar and so sugar consumption–and tooth decay–skyrocketed. Not so Fun Fact: Researchers then performed tooth decay sugar experiments on mental patients without their consent.

Though a skilled confectioner can spin “white gold” as fine as Sif’s hair, Scandinavia was slow to catch onto sugar. And the rest of Europe was slow to catch on to Norse mythology. However, by the 19th century, suddenly everyone was hot for both. How can we not detect the hand of Loki in this?

Think of it this way: increasing popularity of Norse Myths means more popularity for Loki, which means that in a period of rising sugar consumption, Loki gains more followers who can be prompted to make offerings of sugary goodness (and fewer baby teeth). Quite elegant, if you ask me!

Of course, one might argue that “correlation does not imply causation,” but that’s if one reckons without the influence of the divine. In the words of the immortal Gollum, “we wonders.”

However, well into the 19th century (and possibly beyond), most cane sugar was produced with slave labor, which we all know now included not just “labor” but also torture, murder, rape, imprisonment, tearing families apart, etc. I ask myself if Loki would have been so fond of his surgary sweets, had he known their cost in human lives?

Though we’re now reinventing our donuts as “paleo” or sugar and gluten-free, and can deplore the brutal history of past sugar production, it’s worth asking ourselves if we can also examine some of the other entitlements of modern neo-paganism and Western consumerism. Can we consider such factors as the labor exploitation and environmental damage that occurs in the mining and trade of our “healing crystals”? [<—Read this!] Can we offer goodies made from ingredients sourced from “fair trade” farmers? Can we question ways in which we might still be complicit in cultural appropriation or resource exploitation, without knowing it?

So this isn’t just a blog about donuts, or how modern Loki worship differs from way back when (we don’t even know if Loki was “worshipped” per se), it’s a blog about how Loki worship can continue to evolve, based on our climate-catastrophic times. It’s a blog about examining how our devotional and magical practices and consumption habits can be changed, one by one, to reflect the actual realities of the worlds around us, enabling us to do as little harm as possible in the pursuit of our spiritual practices.

I’ve been guilty of buying supermarket donuts for Loki. It’s a quick fix for offerings and I don’t have much money. But based on what I’ve just written and how I can’t “unsee it,” I may need to change my offerings. And I need to talk with Loki about this.

And if it takes going back to throwing the humblest of offerings into a fire, or placing a simple flat cake on an altar, so be it.

On the other hand, I’m a fan of Loki Spongecake Day and the reasons behind it–so everyone else, offer what you will! I won’t be judgy.

Hail Loki!

(This thirty-day devotional format is based on a list developed by someone named Arrin, known as “a Gaulish polytheist.” It can be used for any deity.)

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Fractal Fire. Author: Stevo-88. May 21, 2007. Public Domain.