How Ember Became A Polytheist (And Eventually, Vanatru) 5/5

(Read part one here, part two here, part three here, and part four here.)

May of 2003, after months of intensive trance work under Lorrie’s tutelage (and many adventures which are not within the scope of this narrative to relate), I arrived at Greyhaven for my first annual Vanir devotional trance ritual.

I was anxious, naturally, and that manifested mostly as me wandering in little circles being helpful-like-kittens and chatting nervously. Since the alternative was to sit quietly and fret over the upcoming ritual, that was probably for the best. My mind was already whirling with worries. What if She didn’t come? What if She came and I couldn’t do it right? What if I did it right and She didn’t like me after all? What if She came and I did it right and nobody could tell? What if…?

Afterwards I remembered the ritual only as a blur, and even now I have only a vague sense of sequence, aided by my journal entries of the time, and reports from others who attended the ritual that day.

I remember I was first given an amber necklace to wear that was far too heavy. It laid on my chest like a crushing weight on my heart.

I remember the music went by without much effect, and I fretted, until friends of mine who were warding, and wanted very much to help me succeed in opening up to Freyja as much as I’m able, took me aside to help me calm down and relax into the process.

I remember that Freyja basically ordered me to sing out loud, because I am least self-conscious when I lose myself in singing.

I remember that mead in a brass cup tastes terrible, and honey in coffee tastes even worse, but it apparently seemed like a good idea at the time.

Most of all, I remember sitting under my veil, eyes closed, in the darkness of my mind, trying not to cry with frustration, until finally I realized I had to let myself cry.

So I cried. I cried for how frustrating it was to fail. How frustrating it was to be so hypersensitive that the singers and drummers in the room were overwhelming me. I cried for the fear that nothing I could do would ever be good enough for the Gods…

I cried because it felt good, to just release all the tension and cry. I cried to let go…

I cried, just to cry, with nothing really wrong at all. No need, no fear, no desire…

I cried for the pain, not my own pain, but everyone else’s. Everyone I know in so much pain. The whole world in so much pain, how could I bear it? I cried for all the fear and loss and grief that I feel in others, and could now release for them, for myself, for Freyja…

I cried for the loss of my Husband, who was gone, and I cried that He was not remembered for who He was, but only for who so many suspect He became. I cried that I might never see or hear or touch Him again. I cried great wracking sobs of despair and loss and grief for lost Odr.

And a tiny voice in the corner of my mind realized that it was no longer me who cried, but Freyja.


Until that day, whenever I had seen Freyja in dreams or journeys, or on other mediums, whenever I had heard Her voice, She always seemed so calm and self-assured. I had no idea She was carrying so much pain and grief within Her. I realized then that this crying I so often do is a gift to the gods, and it’s a gift to me from Them, that I can cry. I can cry when so many others can’t, and sometimes I can draw out their tears, and sometimes I can shed them for them. I’d known some of that already with fellow humans, but until then it had never crossed my mind that a god might ever need this of me.

But this ritual was meant to be a celebration, and We did not want to cry all day. Now that She was well seated, She and the warders went about trying to sort out how to help Us stop crying. But nothing seemed to work for more than a few minutes, until one of the mediums carrying Freyr bounced up to us, looked at the dark, heavy cherry amber weighing on Our heart, and declared that it was far too great a burden, and insisted we replace it with a long, light, thin strand of golden honey and butter amber. Oh, what a relief!

The only other thing I remember from that day is that We decided on a desire to pet some kittens. When the servers went seeking the kittens for Us to pet, they found one already tumbling carefully down the stairs trying to get to Freyja, and brought the little darling immediately to Us. After petting the kitten for some time, Freyja decided that I had carried Her long enough for a beginner, and at least She had been able to stay with me long enough that I could see it was not always going to be about pain and loss and tears, and then She departed, leaving me in the gentle care of the warders.

After that, I continued working with Freyja in earnest. I helped Lorrie and Bella run the Beta round of the Trance Class, joined Seidhjallr, and finished the Rune Class. I started the Vanic Conspiracy in the fall of 2004.

Mixed in with all of this, and more intensive work with Freyja, Freyr managed to get through to me that I was His too, and that my relationship with Chien was His doing, and no matter what Odin had said, Freyr wanted me to stay put. Odin, for His part, has admitted (via a couple different mediums, and in my meditations) that it was merely His opinion that I could find a partner better suited to my personality, needs, and goals, and that He had mainly said it to get my attention, because nothing is more important to me than Love, being a child of Freyja. (Or perhaps more accurately, nothing gets a Freyja-child’s attention faster than critiquing their love life ;p)

As for the Fae, well, once I had a stable practice under me, and a better idea of what I was about, I eventually got some clarity there. But there’s only ever so much clarity where the Fae are involved, eh? And those are other stories entirely.

It’s hard to tell these stories without feeling like I’m leaving so much out – and I am – but this is the core of it.

Hail the Gods!

Hail the Ancestors!

Hail the Spirits!

Hail the Folk!


So basically, TL/DR: I needed faith, so I went around asking everyone “Are YOU my Mommy?” like a lost baby chickie until I could get some fucking answers, and then I got waaaaaay more answers than I’d ever bargained for! And I haven’t been bored since! Well, not in my spiritual life, anyway… Wheeee!!!

About EmberVoices

Ember Cooke has been a member of Hrafnar and Seidhjallr for more than a decade, where she trained to be a Seidhkona, Galdrakona, and Gythia. She founded the Vanic Conspiracy and made ordination vows to the Vanir and her congregation in the summer of 2013. She has contributed to several publications on Heathen and Northern Pagan subjects and regularly presents rituals and workshops at festivals. Her personal practice is more diverse, as the Vanir have lead her into cross-training and service for the wider Pagan community. This has including medium and servitor training in American Umbanda, clergy training with the Fellowship of the Spiral Path, and jail ministry for local counties. She holds a BA with honors in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University. Ember has lived all her life in the south San Francisco Bay Area, and is intimately bound to the valley of her birth.
This entry was posted in Gnosis, Personal, Polytheistic Theology, Praxis, Ritual, ST4R, Trance Work, Vanatru and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to How Ember Became A Polytheist (And Eventually, Vanatru) 5/5

  1. Pingback: DPM 23: The Call Knows Where I Live | EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

  2. owanderer says:

    Thank you so much for sharing your story! Freyja got a hint or two in there for me. :3


  3. I take honey in my coffee all the time

    Liked by 1 person

    • EmberVoices says:

      It probably helps to realize two things. 1: I don’t like coffee straight up at the best of times. 2: How honey combines with any given thing depends tremendously on what kind of honey it is, and I think the kind we had on hand that day was not a good varietal to combine with the kind of coffee available.



  4. ❤ Our Lady of the Runny Mascara strikes again. Oh those tears.


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