The old gods

Artist – carl emil doepler

There is something about Fridays, isn’t there? The day of the Goddess. It’s a bit more gentle, golden, like Freya herself. And maybe there’s a lightness spreading across the land, a looking forward to the weekend. A deep exhale.

Yesterday I watched this interview, and felt such a longing for the old gods, and remembered stories my mom told me. About Thor riding across the sky making thunder, and I could see it in my mind’s eye, making me shiver with the wild poetry of it. There is something about the old religion that sings to my bones, that makes me see mystery in the mountains, in the cold dark lakes of my homeland. Perhaps one day I will read the Poetic Edda myself. I want to. 

Beauty

And I’ve been reflecting on beauty, how feeling it deep inside of me can make me dream beautiful things at night. Flying above lush landscapes. What hurts me the most is when beauty, nature is being destroyed. It feels like we’re destroying our own soul along with the landscape around us. When instead we should be growing trees, flowers, gardens inside and out. 

I’ve gone for long walks among pale yellow fields, among wildflowers gathered beneath trees, along fences. It was beautiful, except for the heavy metal music being played somewhere below, reaching me no matter how far I went. I wanted to be in silence. I reached for the mountains, the sky, wanted to hear bird song only. Oh well. This is what happens when you move back to civilization 🙂 

I sat down on the ground, pulling off my shoes, breathing, breathing. I always feel slightly frayed at the end of the day, tired perhaps of fighting a battle with myself. I’m trying to understand it, a guilt about something, always something. And I want to be strong and clear on my path, knowing for sure that the gods are with me. 

Now I will dream of flowers to plant together with a beautiful friend. 

Wishing you a magical Friday and weekend. 

May she look kindly upon you.

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Spring Equinox 2017

“Your will Father, not mine.” She trembled beneath the weight of those words, bowed her head, because she meant them, feared them. They felt like thunder, felt like she had given her life over to the north wind. But there was light also, there in the sky. A white, kind light that smiled at her, falling feather light around her, a soft summer breeze. Peace. 

Following the will of the divine is something I yearn for, but it also frightens me. I feel it takes some courage, understanding, and one step at the time to get there. And also Elohim. What is it about this word that sends shivers through me? It feels so powerful somehow.

Equinox morning

I greeted the sunrise on the Spring Equinox, gathered in a forest with friends, in a white stone circle. I sat for a moment before our ceremony, watching a white half moon between the trees. There were threads of the softest pink on the horizon. Then we all pulled on our robes, taking on our different roles. I was the Divine Mother, walking beside the initiate, the one who has to go through trials by fire, who carries the cross, carries the sun within. Everything was quietly somber at first, and then bright, beautiful. I gathered some things to reflect on, beauty and darkness showed to me, and I want to listen deeper, deeper. (It’s always a bit scary to me to share these things, but I want to. They touch me so deeply.) 

Later I went for a forest walk with friends, feeling the warmth of spring. The world renewed. There were so many flowers of different shades, colored gems spread across the earth, violet, blue, white and gentle yellow. I felt the spirits of the forest whisper to me in some strange, old language. Felt laughter just beyond my hearing, just beyond my sight. And there were still large patches of snow that I sunk through, that glittered white in the sunlight. The air held a faint fragrance of sun-warmed moss and grass, and I brushed my hand against moss covered trees, against rough bark. Saw the blue sky through bare boned branches.

Wishing you a beautiful spring, or autumn. Wishing you love.

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On Being a Writer

Artist – Zula Kenyon

I didn’t know I was a writer. I didn’t know I had stories in my head when I looked at things, didn’t know I could have an outlet for everything I was feeling. I guess we all go through that, thinking everyone is seeing the world in the same way, and that we have no unique skills of our own. Nothing of value to offer, and that we can only do something creative if we’re uniquely skilled from the start. If our teacher had come over to us and proclaimed us a writer, an artist, a musician, etc. I was never particularly good at anything. There was always someone better than me, especially at writing, so I didn’t even consider being a writer. But I also had never found a way to use my own unique voice. And now I don’t think I can stop writing. It would make me too restless and sad. It’s a new and exciting path for me. One that I’m still learning about. And it’s made me a lot happier. 

But I think I’m a listener more than a writer, really. I mean, that’s what I always went back to as a child, the listening. I was listening to the world, to the sky, to some voice that was no voice at all. More like a feeling perhaps. Or maybe this is what a writer is. And it’s what I most love to do above all, just simply sit, walk or stand and listen, feel into something unseen. Reach for something that I’ve forgotten, that some deep part of me still remembers.

***

On a different note….spring is almost here. The Spring Equinox is on Monday and I’m preparing for it with some friends. We’ve been gathering in a forest, and that’s my favorite part of it I think, being in a forest with friends. 

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Beautiful Spring

Artist – Zula Kenyon

Spring is gathering outside, filling the world with wildflowers. The other day I stood in the forest, a light, cool spring rain singing through the trees. It was just beautiful. I can still hear it, feel it, my face turned towards the sky. 

There’s blue star shaped flowers on the ground, growing in blankets among the trees. I know this flower, if only through song. I know its white cousin very well because it filled the fields behind our house where I grew up, but the blue one never showed itself. It grew in other parts of Norway, (now I’ve moved to Slovenia). But my dad would sing a song about it, and I also sang it to him one day while we were walking by the river when he was feeling depressed. I wanted to remind him of beauty, of magic, of joy.

It’s a simple song. About someone receiving a bouquet of these blue flowers from a young girl in a forest. In return, he gives her a few coins to buy some chocolate, but as she happily skips away from him, he reflects that he has never before received such a rich gift, and in truth, it was she who was good towards him, not the other way around.

My dad would sing me different songs while growing up. One was about a girl living in a forest.

“I know a little girl, yes I know her so well, I know a little girl north in the woods.”

And my mom would sing about a girl who asks the southern wind to not touch the veil on her hat because she needs to look beautiful for her beloved.

“And the girl asked the southern wind, don’t touch the veil on my hat. It needs to be nice and clean for my beloved. With a hat with a veil and silken straw. A dress with lace along the neck, two white shoes with ribbons, and socks as clear as day.”

Silly little songs that I still remember, if only the first sentence of it. Hearing them again always brings me back to my childhood. Do you know songs like that?

 

Iceland 

I wanted to write about Iceland sooner. But then I got sick and life carried me along with it. What I will remember most is how it felt to return to the wild north. To be in a place somewhat untamed by people. The houses in the countryside seemed almost lost, swallowed up like they didn’t quite belong among the fields and mountains. And I loved all the streams and rivers and small lakes that you could drink from. The fresh air, and the blue light of the mornings, and the smell of snow. I loved the steam that would rise up here and there from the ground. It was such a strange sight. And I liked seeing the small Icelandic horses along the road. The place was full of them.

I felt at home in Iceland. In Reykjavik, I went for a long walk along the ocean in the heavy snow that had fallen overnight. I always have to go to the ocean when I can. I like to stand and watch the horizon, to feel what might lie beyond it, and listen to the distant voice of the sea.

But now I’m back in Slovenia and waiting for the Spring Equinox. Everything is coming back to life. Can you feel it? Or perhaps autumn is coming to where you are, and you feel things falling away? Wishing you beauty, love, light. 

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The Cold North

I went to Iceland with my husband. And I’ve seen many beautiful things. It’s so strange being on an island, surrounded by the cold ocean, so similar to my own home, and yet very different. Listening to a language I feel I should understand, but don’t. It feels like listening to an old memory. A distant past.

We had a small storm today, here in Reykjavik. I spent the morning and early afternoon indoors, growing restless, watching the trees wave outside my window. And then I felt it call to me, that wind, and the sun came through the rain and so I went outside. I walked to the sea and watched it tossing around, silver gray and white and endless. And some words came to me out there, that I wanted to write down. I’ve felt pretty empty lately.

I had to be careful to not fall over in the wind, and I turned back, headed to a small coffee shop. I like watching people, without interacting, but just observing life and things happening around me. There are several people with computers, some reading the newspaper, most just talking over a beer, over soup and sandwiches. I order lemongrass peppermint tea and a slice of chocolate cake with cream.

I’m enjoying my last few days here in Iceland. I know I will blink and it will be gone.

Hope to write more, later 🙂 

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Stop. Let me love you.

Grimm’s Fairy Tales illustrated by Daniela Drescher

Sometimes, or often I wake up full of fear. And I resist the daylight outside my window. I want to curl up and hide. But then it gets easier, as I take the first few steps into the morning, drink my tea, say hello to the white sky above the treetops.

I write for a bit, slowly, painfully, and then with joy. Usually. My writing helps me tremendously, to think, to feel, to connect with something outside myself, and deep within. To unseen things around me. And I’m not sure where this pain comes from, when there is nothing wrong, really. I just always seem to be wading through it in some way or another.

And I’m very happy too. I guess I’m a mix of things.

The other night I couldn’t sleep, and there was a bright, star with a red heart, outside my window, above the housetops. I watched it for a while. I think stars can speak to us, that they have a voice, a memory we share with them.

Once I felt inside of me, almost like a voice asking “Why do you run? Why won’t you stop and let me love you.” And I felt I was always running. So afraid to stop and let myself feel. So sure there wouldn’t be anything there anyway, least of all love.

I went for a walk yesterday and tried to feel the Goddess walking with me. I came to a snow lit field with white mists coming down from the mountains as the sun was setting. I felt it whisper sleep, rest, and I turned around, walked back. There is a lovely river next to where I live, looking almost black against the snow. I stood on a bridge for a moment, gazing down into it, the last of the sunlight glittering against its surface. 

February is almost here. More light. Spring drawing closer. Are you enjoying winter? Summer? 

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At the Shrine of Beauty

“Sometimes I go about in pity for myself, and all the while, a great wind carries me across the sky.” -Ojibwe saying

At times she felt only half part of this world. Like she could walk right out of it if she wasn’t flesh and blood. That she was walking the middle path of two worlds intersecting.

I don’t go for a lot of walks in the sunlight these days. Instead, I wander outside at dusk, when it’s almost dark, and the first few stars are already out. I wander along those snow filled fields and trace out the beaten path as best as I can. I want silence and the whispers of the distant mountains. I try to listen and hear the voice of this new place, this new country I’ve moved to. Sometimes I want the sky to grow wild and raging so I can hear it better. It’s more difficult to hear things when a place has already been touched by many voices, many feet, when the cars are always driving by, filling the evening with noise and smoke. But I think I need to connect with this place, make it a friend. Not long for those misty forests of my previous home.

I knelt in the snow yesterday when I was sure no one was watching, or could even see me in the darkness. I sat and lifted my hands to the gray sky. I’m not sure why this helps, but it does. I long to actually touch things, connect with the world around me. Somehow it calms me. The trees growing along that path are too far away, or they stand behind fences and wire, but the ground is always there, so I knelt down on that instead. I breathed and prayed without words. Kneeling like that I felt closer to something I can’t name. But it’s there. I felt it even as a child, sitting outside in the evening, watching the sun set behind the mountains. I’m always reaching for it, been holding out my hands to it as long as I can remember. Do you feel something like that too?

I recently finished reading the books about Emily of New Moon. The descriptions of nature always touch me, makes me dream of beauty, and of a simpler time of more quiet, more trees. Less smog. I’ve shared a moment from the books below. Isn’t it lovely?

*

Then came the northern lights–drifts of pale fire over the sky–spears of light, as of empyrean armies–pale, elusive hosts retreating and advancing. Emily lay and watched them in rapture. Her soul was washed pure in that great bath of splendour. She was a high priestess of loveliness assisting at the divine rites of her worship–and she knew her goddess smiled.

She was glad Ilse was asleep. Any human companionship, even the dearest and most perfect, would have been alien to her then. She was sufficient unto herself, needing not love nor comradeship nor any human emotion to round out her felicity. Such moments come rarely in any life, but when they do come they are inexpressibly wonderful–as if the finite were for a second infinity–as if humanity were for a space uplifted into divinity–as if all ugliness had vanished, leaving only flawless beauty. Oh–beauty–Emily shivered with the pure ecstasy of it. She loved it–it filled her being to-night as never before. She was afraid to move or breathe lest she break the current of beauty that was flowing through her. Life seemed like a wonderful instrument on which to play supernal harmonies.

“Oh, God, make me worthy of it–oh, make me worthy of it,” she prayed. Could she ever be worthy of such a message–could she dare try to carry some of the loveliness of that “dialogue divine” back to the everyday world of sordid market-place and clamorous street? She must give it–she could not keep it to herself. Would the world listen–understand–feel? Only if she were faithful to the trust and gave out that which was committed to her, careless of blame or praise. High priestess of beauty–yes, she would serve at no other shrine!

Lucy Maud Montgomery – Emily Climbs

*

There is a lovely light coming through the window now. Winter light. The sky is white and grayish blue behind the trees. And the church bells are ringing. They ring a lot here, and I like listening to them. I enjoy waking up to them at 7 in the morning. Wishing you a beautiful rest of the week. 

*

I just went for a walk in the witch light (is that something? Just felt like the right description) Past gray misty mountains and trees. I saw a fox trotting towards me in the snow, in the almost dark, next to a small stream. I watched him for a bit. He kept coming closer, and I moved a little so he would notice me. He ran away after that. I felt a bit disappointed in myself. Why do I always feel afraid? 

The other day, in the bright sunlight, a mouse scurried across my path. He didn’t see me either and I stood and watched him gnaw through small twigs and even some ice. Perhaps he was thirsty. I like little moments like that. 

This evening I even heard an owl calling from one of the trees. It made me happy. It’s one of my favorite, most haunting sounds, an owl calling in the night. 

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Something New

Cinderella-by-Elenore-Abbott

I realize as I sit here now, what a darling little place I’ve moved to. It’s a small town, surrounded by mountains, with a river running through it just at my doorstep. I didn’t want to move somewhere big. I didn’t want to go back to the big city, but at the same time, I longed to go to a cozy cafe more often. To have that quiet time of drinking tea and studying people coming and going. And so here I am, in this small place with a cozy cafe that I can go to only minutes away. I feel very blessed right now. 

And outside the snow has fallen. Everything is white, fairy dusted and covered with angel wings. We drove up the mountain on Sunday and I almost held my breath with the quiet beauty of it. The clear blue sky behind snowy trees. I’m so glad winter finally came, fully, deeply. 

I made a small altar out of a shelf and put a statue of Mary there, holding the baby Jesus. There are fairy lights around her, and a violet scarf like clouds at her feet. I like that she’s the first thing I see when I look up from my computer. 

On that note, I wanted to share an article that I wrote, about how I first connected with the Goddess. Lately, I’ve felt a longing to share more about my experiences and spiritual journey. I’ve been holding it all close to my chest for a long time, afraid of what people might think. I think my spirituality is the path of the heart. I want to follow love and my inner guidance. The Goddess is love to me. 

More sharings:

The Magician’s wife is sharing her beautiful poetry again. So so lovely.

My friend has started a business of selling healthy, delicious chocolates. Try some 🙂

Music 

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The Return of Light

Here I am, back again. Writing from Slovenia. My husband and I moved from Norway to Slovenia, and then again within Slovenia. We’re now in a small, lovely town with more sunlight than my Norwegian-self think is normal for winter. It is wonderful, but somehow it makes me think a storm is coming. It’s almost like being back in California, though much colder of course. 

I like going for walks, watching the mountains. And I feel I’m settling down now, slowly. So many things have happened, and it’s been hard for me to find the quiet within myself to write. And whenever I do write something (I have several unpublished drafts) I feel afraid to share it. Perhaps I’ve been a bit raw, feeling vulnerable. Scared of not being enough, or too much. All of that stuff. But 2017 brings new beginnings. A new year, a new cycle. 

The Winter Solstice

I don’t want to move into the New Year without mentioning the Winter Solstice. It was especially beautiful this time around as I celebrated it with friends, on the top of the mountain, above the clouds. It truly felt like we were in a different land, far far above everything and everyone else. In a different world. We climbed the mountain beneath an orange sky, and at the top, we did a ceremony together. We sang and watched the sun come up. I remember the pink edge of the clouds and how they stretched out like an ocean below us. And the incense, drifting like smoke above the ground around us. We were all robed in white and yellow, and a friend stood in the center of the circle, dressed as the Divine Mother. She lit a candle as the sun rose, and it felt like magic. A gift. I’ve always wanted to celebrate the Solstices and Equinoxes as long as I’ve known they existed. And now I’m finally part of a group that brings that old magic back to life. 

Christmas

Christmas was also beautiful and spent among friends. I felt I was given small gifts of moments, of meaningful discoveries. Gifts of love. And I went for a walk in the dusk of Christmas Eve, standing for a long time under the Christmas star, praying, hoping. Asking for help. I always feel sad on that day, missing my family. I just can’t help it, even after all these years. I always feel broken open and hurting a bit. But I was reminded that I’m very lucky to have received so much love growing up. It fed me and helped me have hope in life, and in other people. I still feel I’m carrying that love inside of me, like a golden seed. 

Wishing everyone a beautiful 2017. I would love to hear from you. How are you? 

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New Beginnings

The-Sensitive-Plant-study-Sir-Frank-Dicksee

The-Sensitive-Plant-study-Sir-Frank-Dicksee

“Attention is the beginning of devotion.” –Mary Oliver

I’ve been in Slovenia a little over a month now. It feels strange. Time has passed by so quickly, and yet also very slowly. So much has happened.

This place also has mountains, lakes, forests. But it seems a bit gentler somehow, than Norway. The sun is warmer, even up here in the Alps, and the rocks are white, not dark, the rivers are pale and see through, not wild and almost black. 

Sometimes I miss the wild, stormy nature of home, but this place is gentling me, and it’s so so beautiful. Like a place out of a fairytale, a hidden gem that you don’t know existed until suddenly you’re here. 

There is a dusting of snow on the mountains now. Winter is coming. 

At the beginning of October, I felt a deep need to write, like the nature around me was asking me to. Like I could wait no longer. There was so much beauty to breathe in. And it seems most of my creative energy is going to the novel I’m working on. My first novel.

And I’ve been drawn to Mary Oliver for some time now, and yesterday I finally bought a book of hers and fell in love. She makes me want to go outside and touch trees, speak to them, see them, just notice life around me. God is out there, somehow. And also right here, with me, around me. 

Some things I wrote yesterday evening, this morning. 

I went into the forest today, again when it was already getting dark. And I remember it now, lying in bed. How my heart wanted to break open. How I wanted to cry, though I never did. The trees were all dark around me, though there was a light above them, in the sky. The last bit of light before nightfall.

White mist is hugging my windows, so I can see nothing but odd faint shapes in the distance, shapes of trees perhaps, of mountains. But mostly the world is white and silent, leaving me space to dream, to be soft and silent within myself also. The outside world is forgotten. It’s only me and my words now, and a steaming cup of hot tea. Let me dream please, let me have the whole sky to write in, endless horizons, great wide fields of time for dreaming.

A few Instagram pictures. 

And something I wrote for a scene in my novel, maybe, inspired by a moment in the forest after a long, morning walk with a friend. Speaking about and sharing my writing makes me feel afraid, and strong and frail all at the same time. Do you feel the same?

She saw light fall to her feet, like white strands of water, swimming along the forest ground. She drew a breath, feeling the cold October air run through her, raising her hands towards the sky, to the sun between the leaves, letting it play over her fingers. The wind whispered gentle music and the moss covered rock felt warm beneath her, supporting her. She sighed. I’m tired whispered her bones, her heart. Let me rest. Please.

God is here, right here. Now.

Her eyes went to the deep blue sky, the gold and ruby leaves lacing its edges, and she remembered the first frost on the ground that very morning. The world was going to sleep in the most beautiful way possible, fire and ice blossoming together side by side, and she wished to be in it, to follow it, melt into it, disappear.

Sometimes the beauty around her hurt, made her want to cry, made he want to worship the trees, the earth, the moss, all the light around her.

One time she had seen a small birch tree without its leaves, all covered in silver, while around it maples and oak burned with fire and gold, and she could not walk further until she had heard what it had to tell her. 

If only she could walk in peace, forever, along the silver grass with trees burning all around her, the air sharp and cold, and new. If only she could keep away that flicker of worry, the fear that made her remember her dreams, the man, the frosty ground, the blackened sky. He would be coming soon, with the beginning of winter. If he was coming at all. She couldn’t decide if she wanted him to.

***

Also wanted to say that I’ve read this book for the third time now. Would recommend it to anyone, everyone 🙂 Deep in the far away.  And all of her writing.

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