Pre-Iceland – A Few Stems and Pieces

I am about to head out for Iceland this next week with Land Sea Sky Travel. I’ll be gone about ten days from home, and likely not blogging while I am there. That does not mean I will not be writing blog posts, merely not posting them. And to be honest, I have nothing in reserve. My mundane job has been a level of insanity and intensity I do not normally see, and I have spent most of my time running from point A to point B with no real spare time between. What that means, is that starting Saturday 9/15 to Wednesday 9/26, the blog will be silent. My hope is that I can get plenty of writing time in during the trip, and have a large group of blog posts ready to line up for folks.

In the meantime, I have nothing.  LOL Except for some smaller things that I just can’t wrap a thousand words or more around. I usually call this “stems and pieces” for a lack of a better descriptive…maybe I will come up with a better moniker for this.

Q: Do you know what God or Goddess is a good, direct comparison for Crow or Coyote?

Well, you might be asking the wrong person this question. See, I don’t see a direct comparison between any of the Gods and Goddesses. To me, that implies that every Goddess of Love is the same Goddess of Love, just in a different guise to a different culture. That really does not wash with how I see the Gods and Goddesses. Each of Them is a distinct being, very real, very unique, very distinct from one another. Yes, They do address some of the same aspects of things to various cultures, but to me, They are individual and unique. If I was looking for Gods or Goddesses that address similar perspectives to Crow or Coyote, I would start with Tricksters. Dare I say, Crow is not Coyote, nor are either of Them Loki or Dolos or even Bluetongue Lizard. All of Them are unique, distinct beings that are a part of their respective cultures and mythologies. I know that likely does not answer your question, but it is as close as I will dare venture towards that line.

Q:  You work with Native American Gods. Do you consider yourself to be a Shaman?

I answered this one on Facebook a few days ago, but I wanted to add it here and enhance my perspective a little more. My original response follows:

Nine Hells, no. I work with a pair of First Nations Gods: Crow and Coyote. I have a vow of service to Crow. But my rites, rituals, magick-working, spell working, what-have-you are not those of the First Nations’ peoples. Most of what I do follows closer to that of the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids’ ritual formats with a lot of it improvised on my own part with what feels “right” at that moment. I am not trying to be like any aspect of First Nations’ peoples or of European Celtic culture or anything else. I’m just trying to be authentic to me. So why Crow and Coyote? I don’t know. I have theories, but those are only theories. I could have wound up having the influence of Thor and Tyr, Lugh and Demeter, or any other combination of the Gods that could be thought of. It turned out to be Coyote and Crow. As I am continually reminded by others, the Gods call who They call. But “Shaman”?? Not my bag, man. I have no training in that arena, and it would be inappropriate to claim myself to be that, just as it would be for me to claim a title of “Medicine Man”. My service to Crow is a measure of Priesthood, and I have referred to myself as a Priest of Crow…but in thinking on that title…that’s not a true measure of the relationship Crow and I have. So it would be much more appropriate for me to say that I am in service to Crow. What title does that provide me? Honestly, I don’t know. And trying not to be rude about it, whatever title might be appropriate for me, holds no meaning or relevance to who I am and what Path I am on.

Now, to add a little more: As I noted, I have theories as to why Crow and Coyote decided to work with me and through me. But these are just theories. Why? Because I cannot know the mind of the Gods (much less human beings I see on a daily basis who are far more erratic in their own behaviors and decisions). I live in an area that is the southern edge of what used to be the central plains of what was termed “Indian country”. Three different bands of First Nations peoples lived in or near the area I live in. Perhaps that proximity means something. Maybe not. All I know is that my life is lived in relationship with two First Nations’ Trickster Gods. If They ever decided to divulge Their reasonings with me, I will have a better understanding of the “why” but my focus is narrowed more to the “how” aspects.

Q:  See you at Pantheacon 2019?

Ah, no. Sorry, but this Iceland trip will zap all of my vacation days for the rest of the college’s year (we start on September 1 so I will be massively in the hole throughout the year). I have two days of vacation left over when everything will be done, and I have those earmarked for travel to Gulf Coast Gathering in March of next year. Besides, I have been three years in a row to Pantheacon, the first and third year traveling with John Beckett, and the second year on my own. Its an expensive trip on my own, and just barely on a degree of inexpensive when keeping costs down by rooming with John. I wish I could make it back, as there are folks there who go every year (they are in the “local area” – or as local as it can get in California), who I consider as family. I adore seeing them every year…but I gotta watch the pocketbook too.

Well, folks, I gotta bring it to a close. There is packing to get done. I want to hop on the Peloton bike for my nightly ride. Looking forward to meeting new people on this trip, seeing a country I have only seen out of the windows of a B52 cockpit, and relaxing away (and out of touch) from work. And yes, there will be pictures. Lots of them. I just have to figure out where to store them all, and yes, I will point you towards them when I give them a landing spot. Stay safe, stay well, and remember to find some enjoyment out of life…even if its just five minutes.

–Tommy /|\

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