Omicron Blues, or Fuck the Antivaxxers

Omicron Blues, or Fuck the Antivaxxers

Did I just say “fuck the antivaxxers?” You betcha. Because Omicron isn’t just a letter of the Greek alphabet. It’s also what I have.

The Rational Heathen Gets a Greek Letter

Despite all my vaccinations/boosters, I knew it was just a matter of time before COVID-19 showed up on my doorstep. My spouse deals with the public, which means no matter how much masking and handwashing, he was bound to get this contagion. Lucky for us (I guess), it is Omicron and not Delta.

Omicron Most Likely

I presume it’s Omicron because it’s “mild,” although I might argue that “mild” is relative to “in the hospital and intubated.” My spouse could barely get in to see our doctor–forget the county testing and other sites. They’re backed up. The doctor didn’t have enough appointments to see me too, so when the test came back positive, the doctor said I had it as well and treat it the same. Our instructions were explicit: 10 day quaratine and don’t go to the hospital unless you’re damn near dying.

In other words, suffer at home.

I’m Beginning to Hate Greek Letters

In all fairness, I guessed my spouse had it even before he took the test. I also knew that I was exposed to it via him, so I was screwed. It proved to be Omicron in symptoms, which means I’ve had next to no energy to do much, let alone write.

I have no fever. I have had nasal congestion, ear congestion, attempts at congestion in my lungs, pink phlegm, exhaustion, coughing, joint and muscle aches, night sweats, chills, and little appetite. Right now, it feels like a really bad cold that will not go away. I eat not because I’m hungry, but because I know I’ll get sicker if I don’t. Half the time I can’t tell if the room is cold or hot. My internal sense of temperature is fucked up.

Dried Herbs, or Quit Fucking Around

As a semi-knowledgable herbalist, you’d think I’d grab whatever dried shit I concocted and douse myself with it. Nope. Nope. Nope. I’ve ignored the ancestors’ meds and went straight to Tylenol, Musinex, and whatever else makes sense. My brain fog is real, which means I can’t even ponder what might make me feel better in the herbal realm. Instead, I’ve relied on 21st Century medicine, because that’s how I roll.

I’ve written a lot about how we modern folks wouldn’t be able to handle the conditions of a millenium ago. Our ancestors were damn lucky to live to 50, if that. Seeing as I am past that age, (aka “older than dirt”), I’m pretty much guessing I’d be plant food if I had to live at that time.

Right Now, Not Feeling Particularly Charitable

Right now, I’m pretty angry at the morons who are antivaxxers. They are serving as cesspools in the world’s largest petri dish and you can pretty much bet that these variants use them to multiply and mutate. The fact we’re seeing COVID-19 change so rapidly is because of antivaxxers’ unwillingness to step up and get a vaccination. Sure, the disease mutates in animals and even in those who have breakthrough infections, but this wouldn’t spread so rapidly had there been fewer unvaccinated people.

So, I blame them for my misery. And, if you want the truth, I know I’m a whiner because I’m at least not dead yet. Not like the more than three quarters of a million Americans. Or however many have been hospitalized (or are hospitalized). And yeah, I have the mild form with two shots and the booster which has made me whine. Gods know, I don’t fucking want the full-on crap.

Just an Update

So, this post is more or less to tell you all that I’m sick, but not dead yet. My health is improving, but it’s still slow. Probably will have this bullshit longer than two weeks at this rate. (I’m on day 9, I think.) I will come up with better posts when I am feeling better.

Thanks for hanging in there with me. Stay safe, get vaccinated, and wear your mask.

Happy Yule 2021!

Happy Yule 2021!

Happy Yule 2021! Welcome to the Rational Heathen’s Yule (b)Log–see what I did there? I want to wish you a happy Yule 2021. No, this year sucked, just like the last one, but hopefully you didn’t have to deal with getting sick from COVID-19.

Watch the Sunrise over Stonehenge on the Solstice!

Most of this post are roundups of past Yule posts, but I have a special treat for you! You can watch the Winter Solstice at Stonehenge live, which is way cool, thanks to the English Heritage site. The live video will happen the morning of December 22nd due to the timing of the winter solstice. Click on the link above to get access to the various channels, including their YouTube Channel. It’s all free and very cool.

The War on Christmas and Other Fallacies

So, this isn’t quite a post on Yule as it is on how Christians borrowed liberally from pagan celebrations to celebrate Christmas as we know it. Still, I count it with the season. Check it out.

Celebrating Yule with Non-Heathen Family Members

Yeah, everyone’s got them. And if they’re Christian, they may have a tough time with your Heathen ways (pun intended!). Here’s a way to make everyone happy.

8 Ways to Celebrate Yule for the Solitary Heathen

Yule can be a bit lonely for the solitary Heathen, so here are some cool ways to celebrate it by yourself.

What You Need to Know about Yule

Because I should be talking more about the history of Yule and how it relates to the modern Heathen.

When You Can’t Get in the Yule Spirit

Bah humbug! Are you the Scrooge around Yule? So am I. So, here are some ways to cope.

The Yule Goat Sneaks Heathen Tradition into Christmas

Heard of the Yule Goat or Yulebok? Well, if you haven’t, here’s your chance to add a little paganism to your relatives’ Christmas under the guise of Christmas.

Should a Heathen Teach Their Kids about Santa Claus?

Is Santa Claus Christian or Heathen? Should you teach your kids about him?

Yule as a Non-Event

When life intrudes and you can’t properly celebrate Yule.

Book Review: A Guide to Celebrating the 12 Days of Yule

I know many Heathens want to celebrate Yule, but don’t necessarily have an idea how to do it. This is a great book, if you’re looking for ideas.

Enjoy! And have a Happy Yule 2021!

The Rational Heathen

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The War on Christmas, and Other Fallacies

The War on Christmas, and Other Fallacies

I hear you’re waging a war on Christmas. Guess again.

Once again, the so-called ultra-right have decided that there’s a war on Christmas this year. That somehow the unclean masses won’t know it’s the Christmas season when their favorite fast food joint wishes them Happy Holidays. Or their favorite coffee shop have red paper cups instead of “Merry Christmas” written on them.

Uh really? Seriously?

Happy Holidays or Merry Christmas?

I can just imagine the conversation at the local Denny’s:

Greeter: Welcome to Denny’s.

Ignorant Patron: I see Happy Holidays on the lectern. What does that mean?

Greeter: Excuse me?

Ignorant Patron: What Holidays are we talking about?

Greeter: Well, there are several this time of year. Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, Yule, Solstice, and others I’m not familiar with.

Ignorant Patron. Wow! Christmas? I didn’t know Christmas happened in December! I bet I’d know if you had a Merry Christmas sign instead of a Happy Holidays sign. I guess I should be buying presents.

Greeter: […]

Okay, okay, that wouldn’t happen. At least not in the United States. But you get my point. In a country where the major religion is still Christianity, albeit waning, you can’t swing an Elf on the Shelf without hitting something Christmas-sy in local stores. And those who are Christian pretty much know who Christ was — if he existed at all.

Why Happy Holidays at All?

As much as our Christian citizens would like to batter people over the head with “Merry Christmas,” the reality is that we live in a diverse culture in the United States. Christianity is diminishing at a rapid rate, where it was maybe 70 percent of the US population around 2007 or so, it is now around 65 percent of the US population as of 2019 according to Pew Research. Yeah, that means that 35 percent of the US population worships something else, or nothing else.

Many of these people are “Nones,” meaning that they don’t belong to an organized religion and certainly don’t call themselves Christian. In many cases they’re not atheists, but may believe in a higher power or powers.

Given that there is a large number of non-Christians in this country, retailers have decided that it is better to be inclusive than divisive. Hence, “Happy Holidays.” I suppose one could get offended by the word, “Holidays” because it comes from the words, “holy days,” but I digress.

The Christians Weren’t the First to Celebrate Around Christmas

Bad news, Christian peeps. Christmas was established in the 4th century and decided upon by Church leaders so they could incorporate other pagan holidays such as Yule and Saturnalia into the celebration. The Romans practiced Saturnalia. It started on the 17th and originally went for three days. Eventually, it was made into a seven day feast and party days.

Saturnalia included gift giving, singing, playing games, decorating, dressing in costumes, and feasting. Slaves often got the time off and the master of the house served them (maybe where Boxing Day came from?). Each house had a “Lord of Misrule” who proceeded over chaos in the household. This person was usually low on the social ladder and could insult guests, play tricks, and award special cookies with coins in them to people.

Christmas naturally adopted the pagan trappings so that pagans would be more inclined to join the new religion. Since no one really knows when (or if) Christ was born, making up a date closest to the solstice made a lot of sense to win converts.

Our Ancestors Celebrated Yule

Yule is the winter solstice, here in the Northern Hemisphere. Our ancestors celebrated Yule because it was the return of the light. Solstice was very important part of living in the Northern Hemisphere, especially if you were farmers. If the sun did not return, it could spell the beginning of Fimbulvintr–the long dark winter before Ragnarok. So, having the sun return was a big deal.

I could go into all the myths surrounding Yule, but this post is getting off topic. So, let me get back onto it.

Why this Isn’t a War on Christmas in the United States

First, Christians are late-comers when it comes to holidays around the solstice. Humans have celebrated the solstices since Stonehenge, and probably before that. We don’t know how they celebrated it, but we know summer solstice was important enough to mark it with a menhir known as the “heel stone.” On winter solstice, archaeological evidence shows it was likely they sacrificed pigs then. A trilithon marked the sun setting on winter solstice.

Christmas is simply a made up holiday to keep the pagans in line. We know the Christmas stories have their roots in the Exodus, and therefore have pagan roots. So, if anyone ought to be screaming, it should be the pagans. But we don’t, because we aren’t assholes.

I doubt many people in Western countries are saying that Christians shouldn’t celebrate their made up holiday. What the rest of us are saying is be a bit more inclusive and less self-centered. You’re not the only people who celebrate around this time of year.

The REAL War on Christmas

Actually, there has been wars on Christmas in the past. Only problem was, Christians banned Christmas all by themselves. In 1647, the English parliament banned Christmas, which was rescinded when Charles II retook the throne. In 1659, Boston outlawed Christmas, but eventually that law was revoked in 1681. You got to admit, those Puritans were joys to be around.

Nowadays, if you want to see the real war on Christmas, look at any totalitarian government. The People’s Republic of China, for example, insists on atheism and has shut down Christian churches. The USSR in the past had persecuted Christians. So, calling a request for inclusiveness a “war on Christmas” is the right wing version of being a snowflake.  Seriously.

Merry Whatever

Look, I certainly not offended if someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, especially if it’s heartfelt. I will wish my Jewish friends happy Hanukkah, if I know they celebrate it. Basically, if you aren’t an asshole, I’m good with whatever you celebrate. I put up a “Christmas tree” even though it’s really a Yule tree. I wish my Christian friends a Merry Christmas because that’s what they celebrate. I don’t go ape-shit if they wish me Merry Christmas back.

So, my friends, I wish you a happy Yule, or whatever you celebrate. Have a safe one.

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When the Rational Heathen Opens a Book on Witchcraft

When the Rational Heathen Opens a Book on Witchcraft

Okay, those of you who have read my stuff know I’m a skeptic when it comes to witchcraft and Magick. (‘Magick’, of course, is the fancy-smancy word for ‘magic,’ because apparently Aleister Crowley thoughts magic had too few letters.

That being said, I’m open-minded when some people tell me I can make myself rich with some spells. Or maybe attract deer during hunting season. Or maybe give my evil neighbor the idea that he really should run off and join the circus, selling his home to some nice people instead.

Heathen Magic

We Heathens are pretty low on the magic and witchcraft meter. Sure, we do divination with runes, but I’ve pretty much decided that it’s not magic, but tapping into the gods and our subconscious minds. We have seidr–and I’m not entirely sure about that. But we also have cool stories of shapeshifters and people performing magic. Not to mention all the curses, spells, ward runes, bindrunes, witchcraft, and other cool shit.

But I can’t help but check out witchcraft books. After all, maybe they’ve got something that could help. At least have money rain down on me. That, my friends, is a worthy spell that I could believe in.

So, I checked out a book under Kindle Unlimited, because yes, I’m cheap and I honestly have already thrown my money at Amazon. It’s called The Spell Book for New Witches: Essential Spells to Change Your Life by Ambrosia Hawthorn.

Which Witch?

Billie Burke and Judy Garland The Wizard of Oz (1939)So, apparently in this book I “borrowed” using my Kindle Unlimited subscription, there’s more than one type of witch. I sort of knew that there were necromancers, Brujas, Voodun, and hedge witches (as well as witches that practice certain forms such as Gardnerian) from my research as a fantasy/science fiction writer, but this book actually broke it down for me.

Apparently there are the following:

  • Elemental Witch
  • Secular Witch
  • Hedge Witch
  • Eclectic Witch
  • Traditional Witch (which has many other subgroups)

And I’ve heard of others, so I think that this book gives a general idea of the types of witches.

So, How Does Magic Work?

Being mostly allergic to the thought that magic actually exists, I try to keep an open mind on this stuff. The explanation I got was that magic comes from things like persons, moonlight, sunlight, crystals and rocks, and nature. Your intent manipulates this stuff. So, you just have to focus your intent to make things happen.

Hmm…

So, if I wish really, really hard, I can get a pony? <cough>

Or maybe I can wish my neighbor would sell his house and leave?

When You Need Extra Stuff to Get the Job Done

Apparently you need herbs, candles, crystals, and stuff to focus your energies to get shit done. I don’t understand why if the magic is built on intent, that someone could just cast a spell without all the extraneous stuff. But hey, I’m not a witch.

Maybe people who do this stuff aren’t as focused on shit as I am. Or maybe the sellers of witchy-type goods need to stay in business. Who knows?

If Wishes Were Horses

There’s an old saying, “If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.” Now, I’m not discounting will and intent when it comes to having power, but really, there are a lot of people in this world who wish they could have something that they don’t. Every time I was successful in my life, it wasn’t some sort of magic that brought me there. Instead, it was a plan and a lot of hard work.

That being said, sometimes you catch a lucky break. But I would argue that every time I had a lucky break, I had been “in the neighborhood” figuratively speaking, to get that lucky break. Some shit that has shown up “out of the blue” had seeds planted months, or even years, before. Lot of luck is being in the right place at the right time. Just ask any hunter. You seldom find deer in metro areas — or rather, deer you can shoot, other than with a camera.

So, I’ll let you know how this goes. Maybe I’ll just make several million dollars off of this.

Nah…

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When There’s Not a Lot to be Thankful for at Thanksgiving

When There’s Not a Lot to be Thankful for at Thanksgiving

Well kids, it’s that time of year again. Thanksgiving. Or maybe you call it something else. Or maybe you’re outside of the US, and you’ve already celebrated a Harvest holiday. Whatever. For those of us who have Thanksgiving, you may be feeling like I do. That is, there isn’t a lot to celebrate. And you’re probably right.

Lack of Thankfulness or Gratitude on Thanksgiving

I’ll admit. There’s not a lot of things to feel thankful about this Thanksgiving. We’re still in a pandemic. There’s a lot of civil unrest. Cost of everything has skyrocketed. People have lost their minds and believe all sorts of insane notions.

I look at what is happening and I’m convinced we’re doomed as a species. I used to think people were somewhat logical. Boy, was I wrong.

So, if you’re not feeling particularly thankful this Thanksgiving, I’m with you. No matter what people say to try to foist a warm and happy feeling on you, don’t feel guilty for not feeling thankful. Your feelings are your feelings.

Hope, or The First Step on the Road to Disappointment

My spouse always quips that hope is the first step on the road to disappointment, and yeah, it’s true. Of course, we’re cynics, which means we can’t be disappointed if something goes wrong. But honestly? I can’t help but think living one’s life being in a constant state of cynicism isn’t healthy. Which is why in the past I kept thinking people couldn’t get so idiotic. First step…disappointment.

Scientists Tell Us to Be Grateful Anyway

This is NOT me.

I’ve been doing a lot of research on improving one’s mood, and one of the things scientists tell us is to come up with things that we’re grateful for. Just saying the words are enough to help improve your mood. I’ve tried it, and the jury is still out on that one. As is the advice, “fake it until you make it.” Or act like you’re happy, and you’ll feel better. The thought is if you go through the motions of celebrating the holidays, you’ll feel better. Again, I don’t know.

The other thing scientists tell us to do is write down all the positives of our lives so we can see how wonderful it is. My list using looks like:

I’m grateful:

  • I’m alive.
  • My spouse is alive.
  • I have dogs.
  • I have cats.
  • Hunting season is upon us.
  • Someday I will get those book contracts.
  • I got one deer.
  • I do not have COVID-19, nor do any of my family.
  • There are vaccinations for COVID-19,  and I am innoculated.
  • I have firewood and a wood stove.
  • It is fall, although it is snowing.
  • I have Tyr and Skadi.

Yeah, for a writer, I have no imagination. I don’t know if it makes me feel better, but at least I’m not spending time moping about the stupid shit.

Tricking your Mind, or Why My Sibling is Getting Better

Apparently, gratitude of some variety helps. By not focusing on your problems all the time, you can genuinely make yourself happier. I’ve seen this in action, and dare I say that I’m impressed.

Maybe Jedi Mind Tricks Would Work?

You see, one of my Christian siblings suffers from addiction and depression. They are active in their church, which means they do get to interact with people there. Well, my sibling found out a person in the church they knew didn’t have enough money to get Christmas presents for all their kiddos. They couldn’t even afford new shoes for them.

Now, the cynic in me says, maybe they shouldn’t have had so many kiddos–birth control, right?– but I honestly don’t know the parents’ situation. This has been a tough couple of years for more than just me. I know a lot of people are struggling right now.

My sibling decided to “adopt” the family and budget in presents for these people. Which is awesome. As a result, my sibling is doing better with their own problems. Their outlook is better. Their behavior is better. And they are less depressed. I can’t help but think because this sibling is focused on helping someone else, they don’t feel the need to dwell on the shit that is wrong with their life. And they feel good doing so.

My Recommendation for those Ungrateful Wretches

If you’re an ungrateful wretch like I am, you might want to consider doing something to help someone else. Or maybe look at the little things in your life which makes you happy and be thankful for them. As I was hunting, I got a beautiful show of how the waning light plays on the conifers. And yeah, I was thankful for that. Because I saw something a lot of people don’t see. Right now, I am by my woodstove, and it has a warm fire in it. I am thankful for the warmth.

But sometimes it’s tough to find little things to be thankful on Thanksgiving. Even so, you can find something in your life that gives you joy, even for a moment. Don’t look at the big stuff, unless there is something big that gives you joy. The big stuff is often overwhelming. Focus on the here and now. Mindfulness meditation can help.

I hope you have an enjoyable Harvest celebration or Thanksgiving. Stay safe.

50 Shades of Nazis

50 Shades of Nazis

Nazis, seriously? A reader of this blog commented on a post of mine saying he’d be rather be called a Nazi over Antifa.

What is this world coming to? Seriously?

Kids, it’s not either/or. It’s “None of the Above.”

Nazis, Seriously?

How the fuck did we get to the point where people align themselves with the Nazis? The NAZIS, for the gods’ sake. These were the bad guys in WWII. They believed in a “master race,” even though race is a construct. Nazis believed in genocide. They committed countless atrocities.

No Communists, Either

I’m not a communist apologist, either. Stalin and Mao (to name a few) committed atrocities in the name of communism. Mass murders and genocide. Even today, communists oppress and murder people. People are not free under their regimes. According to the Washington Post, Antifa is the equivalent of leftist neo-Nazis. So, both Antifa and Nazis are bad.

Where the Wackos Meet

You go too far right or too far left, and the methodology of the institutions look the same. Oppression. Mass murder. Destruction of people’s rights. In fact, the sides who oppose each other start behaving like each other the farther right or left they go. Sure, their rhetoric might be different, but those are just words. I’m talking action.

If your side is the one talking about harming other people, murdering, or proposing lunacy instead of logic, you are part of the problem. You have become like your enemy, and I honestly can’t see any real difference.

Freedom, or Just a Way to Harm People?

In the United States, we value freedom. But freedom doesn’t mean you can do anything you want. Your behavior and rights stop where you are harming someone. In other words, I have the right to swing my fist all I want to as long as it doesn’t impact someone’s nose (or body). Likewise, I don’t have the right to cough on, breath on, or otherwise spread my germs on people during a pandemic. Yeah, wearing a mask sucks. Deal with it. Don’t want to get a vaccine? Don’t expect to keep your job in healthcare.  Get a job that isn’t affected by the mandate.

Conspiracy Theories

Conspiracy theories abound on both sides of the political spectrum, but I hear more from the far right than the far left at the moment. People no longer use logic. Instead, the more fantastic the claim, the more they believe.

Look, if you (or anyone, for that matter), make a fantastic claim and expect me to believe it, you’d better have PROOF. And not a “well, Faux News says…” Give me testable, verifiable proof of your claim by legitimate sources. Because the more fantastic the claim is, the more proof you need.

You CAN Be Neither Far Right or Far Left

Honestly, people. You don’t have to throw in your lot with the goosesteppers of either camp. No, you don’t have to agree with everything one side says or another side says. You can use LOGIC to deduce which claims are true.

Nazis and Antifa followers are both wrong. You don’t have to follow either of them.

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Halloween 2021

Halloween 2021

Welcome to Halloween 2021. If you’re new to this blog, you may not be aware that I am not the Samhain/ Halloween kind of person. BUT, I understand that a number of you are, so with that in mind, check out my blogs on Halloween.

If you’re wondering why I’m not into the whole Halloween thing, you can probably glean some info from the posts. I’m not going to go through it all here again.

Enjoy!

 

 

Have a safe halloween 2021, whether you celebrate it or not.

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Why I’m Against Horns on Viking Helmets

Why I’m Against Horns on Viking Helmets

Okay, I’ve been talking about a lot of serious stuff lately. But a reader asked me what’s wrong with horns on Viking helmets. You guys who know the history behind it can just go elsewhere if you’re too bored, but for you folks who don’t know martial arts or history, (or willing to bear with me), I can explain.

What’s Wrong with Horns on Viking Helmets?

No. Just, no.

When we’re talking northern peoples, they never wore horns on their helmets when it came to battle. (There might have been ceremonial helmets, but honestly, no. Just, no.) The whole horned Viking started in the 1870s when (and I quote from Wikipedia):

…Carl Emil Doepler created horned helmets for the first Bayreuth Festival production of Wagner‘s Der Ring des Nibelungen, which has been credited with inspiring this, even though the opera was set in Germany, not Scandinavia…

So, the whole horns on Viking helmets was made up in the late 1800s, and is not factually correct.

Let’s Talk Battle, Shall We?

I’ve been trained in at least four different martial arts. Three happen to be Asian (with a smattering of weapons). The fourth is European long sword. When fighting hand-to-hand–or even with a sword–having anything to grab onto your opponent is a huge advantage. Grab a horn and you’ve got control of your enemy’s head. Where the head goes, there goes your enemy. Can you imagine how easy it would be to snap a neck? Or pull him down so you can gut him? Yeah, I’d want my enemy to have horns on his helmet.

Horns would also get in the way of fighting, because you’d have extra weight on your head that could pull you one way or another. And can you imagine wearing your horned helmet on a ship? OMG–I can hear Viking moms now! “Beorn! Take that horned helmet off, or you’re going to poke somebody’s eye out with it!”

Look, space was at a premium on long ships. I don’t think there was room for them.

Were There Ever Horns on Viking Helmets?

Odo bayeux tapestry.png

Public Domain, Link

Okay, so the image of the Viking with the horned helmet is made up due to the 19th Century Romanticist Viking Revival.  But were there ever horns? Maybe, according to the Denmark National Museum, but they were probably “headgear [that] was worn for display or for cultic purposes.” Yeah, they say there are images on golden horns of men wearing horned helmets who might be beserkers, but honestly? It’s unlikely, especially because of the reasons I gave above. Plus, no verified Viking battle helmet has ever been found with horns, and depictions of the Battle of Hastings in 1066 on the Bayeux Tapestry shows the Anglo-Saxons with conical helmets, not ones with horns. (Yeah, the Anglo-Saxons were Viking descendants–I get that, but still.)

Sure, there were other cultures that had horned helmets, but those weren’t everyone. Case-in-point, the Japanese Samurai. A Samurai often had an elaborate headdress on his helmet to identify him and to protect the vulnerable spot on his helmet (that being the center weld). Samurai were originally mounted archers, which made them more likely to be mounted, commanding their ashigaru or foot soldiers.

I hope that helps. As always, leave your messages in the comments below.

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Shit! The Runes DO Work

Shit! The Runes DO Work

Fucking freaky. Occasionally the Runes remind me I’m not just screwing around. Like the time when I asked them who was guiding me with the runes and they spelled out Thor’s name and gave me Tyr’s rune.

The Beginning…or Why I Consulted the Runes

The gods know I could use help. My pagan series has been going along just fine, but money is always something I need. This is how they decided to help me, and the rune reading associated with it.

Some Background

As you may know, I read a lot of pagan and nontheist blogs. After reading another pagan’s blog, I was reminded I need to provide more consistent offerings. So, I chose the thing that is near and dear to my heart: tea. The gods gets the first cup in the morning, or when I refresh the tea leaves, once weekly. Preferably on Tuesday, because Tyr.

Weekly Offerings

I’m still new at this regular offering thing, but with the exception of providing the offering a day late, and the little matter of my spouse using the offering bowl for salsa (ahem), it seems to be going okay. I pretty much just offer the tea. No pleas for the winning lotto ticket, or anything like that. Oh, maybe a thank you for keeping us relatively healthy, and a generic, “please keep us safe” kind of thing. I don’t do ceremonies or make lofty speeches. I figure they know what I need probably better than I do.

Email Out of the Ether

So, a few days ago, I got an email from a publisher. That makes me sound much more important than I am, so don’t be too impressed. Anyway, a publisher wanted me to work on a project provided that their Powers-That-Be approved the proposal. It’s an update of some work I did more than fifteen years ago.

Where’s the Work?

So, I panicked because I had no idea where the original work ran off to after so many years and computer deaths. All I can say is thank the gods for PC Mover. Despite me not wanting to move everything to my new computer, that’s what it did. Again. And again. And again. The original documents were on my hard drive, passed along from computer generation to computer generation. Which means I have copies on at least four hard drives. And now, Dropbox.

Consulting the Runes

At this stage, I was somewhat ambivalent about what I should do. My pagan urban fantasy series is going well, and even my spouse thinks it’s time for me to focus on it. But…the amount I could bring in for four months of Hel might be worth it. I suspect that the work offer had to do with my offerings, but I wasn’t sure. I needed to consult the runes. Big time.

My Reading — I Shit You Not

First Rune: Matter Under Consideration: Ansuz

Ansuz means message, writing, and language. Sometimes from the gods.

Second Rune: What will affect the matter. Either positive or negative: Gebo

Gebo means gift and partnership. Something given in exchange for a partnership. Business or personal.

Third Rune: Upcoming elements. Outcome: Eihwaz

Eihwaz is a rune of defense, protection. Can be associated with good outcomes. I stared at the first two runes and wondered about Eihwaz. It suggests that I need to go carefully into this. But it is likely to be positive.

I asked for clarification and pulled the rune Uruz.

Uruz is strength, but it can also mean upheaval in some ways. Yeah, taking this project on will definitely change things. But again Uruz is usually a good sign for me.

Why I Got Freaked Out

When it comes to the first two runes, the reading was spot on. I mean it’s about a writing project and a partnership. The Eihwaz simply tells me to be careful, which I know, dealing with publishers. For someone who reads the runes, having the runes spell out what was going on was freaky. It’s almost as if the gods said, “look you skeptic, we’re going to make this ridiculously clear so even you can understand.” In other words, every time I try going agnostic, a god hits me over the head with reality. Sheesh. You think I’d learn.

Then, Eihwaz

I was about to leave this on a positive note, but then the publisher decided to lowball me. Well, Eihwaz is once again spot on. So, I don’t know. But I do know the runes work, when asking questions that are important. I’ve occasionally got a garbled mess when I’m unfocused, but often it has to do with another matter that is more pressing in my life. So, I wait and see. Maybe they come back with a sane offer, maybe not. Maybe the gods just wanted to remind me not to be agnostic.

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