A working of Odin in Yesod had bestowed upon me a great deal of executive ability, and I finally saw my way clear to face the white linen robe I needed to make for the Norse powers.
I had tried to make a robe before, but it lay in pieces on the floor for months before it was finally lost in the whirlwind of abandoning all of my earthly goods, so there was some emotional residue about the whole business of robes. There was also a small track record of failure the dark ones could play on, whereas before I had had a lifelong track record of success in making robes, had made a half dozen of them, and they were all Golden Dawn and Mormon. I guess the whole business of making robes was felt to “belong” to the Golden Dawn, and their robes were now being stolen by Odin. Or something.
In any case, they didn’t want me to leave. No one did. Everyone had invested twenty years in making me and tracking on me as a sometimes normal, sometimes askew Hermetist in the regular fashion and here I was now venerating the gods of my Deep Self who had big chops and a lot of wealth.
It’s not how things are done in lodges except they are.
I had a new sewing machine that I hadn’t been able to touch. It is a Brother, specially marked for Project Runway, and was gotten online with PayPal credit for a bargain: $179! Credit is hard on the spirits. In the underworld, the bank owns the item until you pay for it, and the bank evidently isn’t all that into Norse gods. The evocation of Bael has enabled the Higher Self to mitigate certain things, so now the Norwegians are involved; the Norwegians like Norse gods, and they also like sewing machines. European women have excellent homemaking skills, and I suspect that is part of the reason I have since childhood been able to do things most Americans don’t, like sew.
I have had four sewing machines, so that got me through, but my brains were peanut butter as I . . . laid out the nearly incomprehensible instruction manual open on the table before me . . . carefully opened and touched all of the gizmos, identifying each one . . . wondered at what they meant by pushing the bobbin winder back . . . did it my way and it turned out fine . . . and so on. It took quite a bit, but I finally got the machine going. It sews like a dream. Evidently the whole business of becoming a fashion designer has made the sewing machine people think about how sewers would like to work and work quickly. I am now a convert to Brother whereas before I was all about the Scandinavian sewing machines.
As soon as I set in that first seam we were up and running.
Now this robe is for all of the Norse work. They know that. It is technically an underdress to which will be added an apron dress, brooches at the shoulder, two stands of beads, a leather belt, and a dark cloak in honor of Odin. But the goddess who was working on the robe was Freyja.
Freyja is a Vanir goddess of the Norse pantheon. At a certain point there was a great war between the Aesir–the death gods who run the civilization of the dead and make the underworld track on the living–and the Vanir–the life gods who work with humans in their life functions. This war was was not won by either side, and the means of constructing a truce was to have some of the Vanir live in Asgard, the land of the death gods, and some of the Aesir live in Vanaheim, the land of the life gods. There is deep wisdom in this, in that the death civilization and the life civilization must track on each other without either getting the upper hand.
In the Hindu world, this is handled by having three great sets of gods: Brahma and Saraswati, the life gods; Shiva and Kali, the death gods; and Vishnu and Lakshmi, the mediators. (I was shown this by the great gods of India who are assisting in this effort. Of course, I do live six miles from my region’s Little India, patronize the restaurants and movies of that culture, and venerate their “outsider” god, Lord Ganesh.) In Christianity, Jesus first descended into the underworld and organized it (preached to the souls); then there is Extreme Unction, the Requiem, and Purgatory, where the two worlds track on each other. The Mormons have their temple, which is all about ancestor veneration and the tracking of the worlds on each other. This is why it is a great civilization and should grow up and let people know how it really works.
They are extremely different functions, and a god has to specialize. The death gods develop the dead and only work with the living in special circumstances. Death magic is very difficult and requires an extreme amount of training and dedication. You must give your entire life to it the way Mormons give their whole life to the church (ouch) and Conservative to Orthodox Jews their entire life to the mitzvoth.
This is why the death gods are so hard to reach and so hard to work with. Realistically, they call you–you don’t call them. The modern world doesn’t do enough “making” of any kind because the churches were dishonest and fed people a fairy tale with no explication–and no entheogens. If they had eaten mushrooms, they would have known what was up consciously. Instead, they drank red wine–which I drink entirely too much of for some reason–and the knowledge came subconsciously in the wine.
Gods are generally the ghosts of illuminated animals and plants. In this world, we have more gizmos, and they work at “riding” us and developing human consciousness in themselves. Human evolution was always supposed to be undertaken in partnership with other land spirits. Animals have more gizmos in the energy and are able to see and teach and help us to develop ourselves energetically in ways that transcend the human-only world we create when we do not have them. It is where you put your focus and energy that makes your soul a certain way. The construction of giant systems of gods who are human in form or have no form at all is very destructive to the fundamentally cosmopolitan nature of the earth’s spirituality. It makes human civilization parochial and idiotic and easily conquered by hostile life forms from other worlds–exactly what is going on now and what we are trying to stop.
When it was clear that I was amenable to expanding my repertoire away from Hermetics, the death gods called me and were so charming I crapped out my life as an upper-middle-class housewife/artist and took a day job with a three-hour-a-day commute and cheap Ikea furniture, much to the dismay of everyone who enjoyed that gorgeous lifestyle of mine. I had undergone twenty years of extreme devotion to Mormonism, a sect where practitioners routinely devote ten hours a week to church practice, live a fairly ascetic life, and donate much time and money to the cause. This gave me exactly those patterns in Hermetics, and after twenty years of that, I had a lot of potential for power. I also had what the gods call fabulous wealth in the underworld.
As a general rule, it is fabulous wealth in the underworld that catches the attention of the gods.
With death wizarding, of which ceremonial magic is rightly a form, you have a few years because the way the power is worked destroys your body–if the church doesn’t. But if the life gods are able to get involved, they can heal your body.
Humans used to know how things work and performed extensive spiritual work because they knew how things worked. Look at traditional cultures. Minimal time is devoted to hunting, farming, and the care of the young, but a great deal of time is devoted to magic, holy days, communal and family feasts, etc. Australian Aboriginal men spend a great deal of their time on ritual and sacred activities. One of the great challenges facing the Spanish overlords in the Americas was to get the Amerindians greedy so they would work more. The Amerindians wanted to work the minimal amount and then fulfill all of their works with the gods.
So here I was making the robe, and Freyja was finding things. She said she needs me to be doing her work so that she can ride me.
My head powers have been mush since I opened the portals of ceremonial magic. This is partly because it is a male magic. I have had problems with the Cabala since the beginning. It made me “off” about the feminine aspects of life and that is not good. In the underworld, men are not as smart as women, and this is bleeding into my everyday existence, but I have made myself in intricate and male-oriented forms of spirituality and am used to them. My father was an astrologer–it was inevitable. It is also how the modern work of wizarding is done. So Freyja, my life goddess, is riding me so that she can learn how to work at Excel spread sheets, online banking, and other aspects of modern life. We need the head powers to come in in a way that is both Norse and modern. I have no problems with making sauerkraut or knitting.
I guess Freyja needs to be updated.
She also needs to be Freyja. The actual goddess who works at Freyja in New Jersey was, of course, a god/dess of the First Nations Lenni-Lenape people and then of the Jewish and Christian people and their witches, though this area is mostly Christian. She has all of these chops and is quite good at working Judaism in particular, my Jewish ancestors opine, though some want to make her a slave spirit in Judaism, a move I oppose. Her physical evolution was in animal form, though she had many human wizards that she has “made” over the centuries. She looks a lot like a goth girl, which means she tracks on witchcraft and the image of witches in our culture.
We also need the mead instead of only red wine. It is hoped that the mead will assist with the head powers as well though we are exploring beer as a low-cost alternative.
The mating with a goddess is an extremely serious commitment for a human wizard. There was some talk for a couple of days of moving to a nearby town and taking a rented room instead of an entire apartment for the sake of the budget and the three-hour commute, but that has been largely nixed. For some reason, roommates are not that enthusiastic about having fifteen candles going all at once in the house and the magic never happens at the level it needs to. This was very hard on Freyja, I could tell. Many Hermetists were riding me as well and want this OFF and the gods eaten in lodges, and most people want things normal, though that would kill me within a very few years.
There is always a back and forth in the energy work. I make a big step forward and there is a backlash that causes me to have strange plans, Freyja would say.
I am permanent in this area.