“Fluid Is My Gender”

For National Coming Out Day, I present to you a guest post and collaboration with my dear friend and colleague, Dee Shull. They shared with me this poem, and I so loved it that I asked them if I could make a graphic and blog post out of it.😀 –Ember–

"I am fluid"


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Women in Heathenry

I don’t feel this level of unappreciated, I admit, but I realize that’s because I never expected recognition in the first place.

The photo, by the way, is of my beloved teacher, Lorrie Wood, holding up the horn. The others I don’t know, sorry.



Women In Heathenry

Sumble Troth

You know, I thought we were getting it right.  OK, for all of those who like to talk to me about white privilege, I will freely acknowledge I know nothing about growing up anything else, of course they know jack sh*t except fairy tales about my life either so we will leave it at that.  I have however spent a life growing up looking after and protecting my little sister, have spent twenty years married to my amazing wife and raised three daughters.  I have been there for them as best I could in challenges beyond number.  I had, I thought a pretty good read on what they faced, in every community.

Of all the communities, and sadly I must definitely include my beloved Armed Forces, Heathenry was the one that did the best job of accepting men and women equally and in all the myriad expressions…

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Mythology is a Finger Pointing at the Moon

Yes. Exactly!

The words are our road signs, they are not the road itself, much less the destination. The map is not the territory, no matter the map’s age, and all maps are affected by the assumptions of the cartographer who drew it!


Drinking From the Cup of Life

The stories of the gods are not the gods. The descriptions of the gods given in those stories are not the nature of the gods. They are fingers pointing at the moon.

moon-map This is not the Moon.

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Posted in Community, Lore, Mysteries, Polytheistic Theology, Praxis, ST4R | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

There Is No Away

I’m ranting lately. It’s been a hard week in a hard month in a hard year, and I just want it all to go away.

All the things I just can’t deal with, all the people who hurt me or those I love, all the problems that can’t be solved easily, all the systems that don’t work. I want them to go away.

The world is a big place. Too big. I can’t keep it all in my head. I can’t always cope with the chaos.

The Universe is even bigger, and only as orderly as it needs to be to hold together.

That’s not enough. I want it to be fair.

It’s times like this I understand why people want to believe in Ragnarok, in Armageddon, in any and every Apocalypse, now please. Because it seems like if we can wipe the slate clean of all this…



…then maybe we can get somewhere with the better worlds we can imagine?

But that means throwing all THIS away, first. And I can’t swallow the delusion that only the things I like will survive.

I can’t even swallow the delusion that I would survive.

If I want to live, this is the only world available for me to live in. I have to be willing to live in it, flaws and all.

Horrors and all.

The Worlds are not disposable. What does it even mean to be disposable? What does it mean to make things and people go away? Where is away?

Even if I decide I can’t deal with it, and run away, I’m still somewhere, still have problems and needs and responsibilities.

Every problem I can’t deal with is still a problem until it’s actually solved.

Every item I’m done with is still somewhere in the world, contributing to a compost pile or a trash heap.

Every person I can’t stand will still exist, still have needs and rights and still affect the world whether I continue to acknowledge them or not.

Every system I want to opt out of is still there for everyone else stuck in it, and if I did manage to somehow remove it, all the things it was there to take care of still need taking care of.

All the people nobody likes, all the criminals and the crazies and the broken people nobody wants to take care of anymore, they still have to eat, they still need shelter, they still have a right to exist.

If I make them not my problem, then whose problem are they?


There is no away.

Away is an illusion, a lie we tell ourselves, to make the world small enough that we can live in it without fear.

The Worlds are but jewels on the Tree, and the Tree is engulfed by the Void.

And even the Void is not Away.



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Ember on Gifts of the Wyrd!

Several weeks ago Jan and Laine interviewed me for their podcast Gifts of the Wyrd. We talked about Vanatru, and what makes RedWood Vanatru what it is.

My interview is up now! Go listen!

[Edit] For anyone having trouble with the podcast page, here’s a handy widget instead:


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On Closed Traditions

(Edited to Add Note: This is not an essay about the history of Christianity and Judaism. They are merely familiar examples of traditions which people recognise as generally open and closed, respectively. There is no way I could possibly summarize the history of either, much less their interactions, in an essay of this length.)

I’ve been thinking about this for a while. What does it mean for a spiritual tradition to be closed vs. open? The usual example seems straightforward:

Christianity in general is clearly open because not only is anyone welcome to become Christian, people are actively encouraged to do so.

Judaism is closed because if you’re not born and raised Jewish, you’re strongly discouraged from converting, unless you marry or are adopted into a Jewish family–and even then there are requirements for the process.

But I look a little closer and it gets more complicated. I have at least one Jewish friend who feels that Christianity is appropriation from Judaism. Aside from it being far too late to undo that, appropriation is about taking things out of their cultural context. Christianity was founded by Hellenic Jews who chose to open the tradition to gentiles from the inside early on. Christianity remains an open tradition today. You can not appropriate what is being given away.

It’s more complicated yet, though. Continue reading

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