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Springing Forward into A Global Pandemic

I had a plan when I started this blog post a week ago. I was going to complain about Daylight Savings Time, lament the fact that I had to miss my kindred Spring ritual because I’d be in another state, and then post about making cookies with Haggis.

And then COVID-19 hit the fan.

NYC has a curfew; our flight to Texas isn’t happening, Ian will be working from home starting tomorrow and ending ???

The POTUS just got on television and said this could last well into August.

I am sitting here wondering how I am going to entertain my kid inside all day, every day without allowing him a lot of screen time.

While activities for Haggis are going to happen, right now, I want to focus on how we can be good members of our community.

Have you seen those lists of song lyrics that last for twenty seconds floating around social media? Me too. Guess what? I came up with something too.

Michaela Macha wrote and posted Frigga Loves Me over on Odin’s Gift. It’s a song I’ve sung to Haggis since he was born, and around 3 am this morning, I woke up and wrote a verse for Eir. If you sing it in the same tune as “Jesus Loves Me,” it will last 23 seconds. The recommended minimum length for handwashing is 20 seconds. Coincidence? No, not really. I planned it that way.

Here are the lyrics I wrote:

Eir does love me
This I know
For my Kindred tells me so.
Washing my hands while singing this song,
Helps to keep our community strong!
Yes Eir does love me!
Yes Eir cares for me!
I help Eir protect the community!
By washing while singing this song!

If you aren’t familiar with the tune of the song, please feel free to follow this link to Michaela’s song. There is an MP3 there that will help. As my lyrics are new, they aren’t included, but it’s something that will translate.
I plan to sing the song while washing Haggis’ hands – and my own – from now until he can sing it himself. The point here is to make sure he always washes for at least 20 seconds, but this will also (I hope) reinforce the fact that deeds are important in Heathenry, and it is our job to be the good we want to see in the world.

Take care of yourselves, y’all. And don’t hoard resources. Only dragons hoard. And you know what Heathens do to dragons.

ancestors

Lefse, Mother’s Night, and Yule

My kinswoman Kristen came over last week, and we tried our hand at making lefse. Neither of us had ever made it before, and I hadn’t even eaten it. Kristen’s childhood adventures in lefse eating were all we had going for us.

Or so we thought.

Y’see, Kristen and I both did some research, and we both come from long lines of Capable Scandinavian Women™. Between that and the fact that we are both foodies with mild Alton Brown addictions, we were able to handle lefse rolling and cooking like pros. Was it the best lefse Kristen had ever eaten? No. It wasn’t even close. But it was delicious, and it tasted like victory and warm hugs from various Great Grandmothers, so we decided to call our piles of lefse a win.

Speaking of hugs from Great Grandmothers;

Tonight is Mothernight (Mother’s Night/Modranecht). When I was little, my dad told me that Mothernight is the night that Odin and the Wild Host ride out into the world to collect souls for Valhalla. He whispered of Odin’s dead peeking in windows and looking for people who didn’t know enough not to look outside on this holy and horrifying night. As a kid – and an adult – I loved looking out into the cold winter nights and praying for snow. Every night I would beg Jack Frost, Odin, the stars, and Steve Pool – the weatherman in the area I grew up in – for snow. Except on the 20th of December.

On the 20th of December, I don’t look out the window. I keep the blinds down, the lights on my Yule tree stay on, and a candle gets lit and placed on a window sill. The flame is a warning and a welcome. It tells the Host that they have to stay out and lets my Dis know that they can come in.

My first Yule/Christmas with Ian saw us flying out to Washington for the holiday. We flew on Mothernight, and I kept the window shade down and sweated through my clothes because I just knew that we were tempting fate and that Odin was going to kick our asses all over the sky.
We got to SeaTac just fine. But the fear was there. Fourteen years later, the fear is still there. I know the fear is irrational. I’ve spoken with some of my Heathen friends about Mothernight and the lore surrounding it, but Mothernight is something I know in my heart, not my head. So I will light a candle and place it on the sill tonight, and I won’t look outside even though I’ll want to so badly I’ll be able to taste it.

I’m not going to tell Haggis the same Wild Hunt/Host stories my dad told me because I want him to adore Mothernight. I want this to be a time of family and comfort for him, not a time a fear. There is a time for ghost stories during Yule, but Mothernight is not it. Instead of whispering scary stories in Haggis’ ears, I am going to have him help me make cookies, and tonight we will leave cookies, coffee, and tea out for our Dis. Ian and I will say the names of nine of our Beloved Mothers, and when Haggis can speak more clearly, he will say their names too. I think that will be a great way to start Yule.

Speaking of Yule;

This weekend is crazy busy with Yule activities. Mothernight tonight, North River Kindred’s Yule celebration Saturday night into Sunday – which we won’t be attending because we all have a gross cold -, and then a visit from one of my Mama-kin on Sunday. This weekend is also the Winter Solstice, so we need to make risgrøt for our house wights. We leave them offerings at the cross quarters, and at Yule they leave Haggis a handmade gift and a book (this year he is getting a new set of mittens and The Snowman). As he gets older, I’ll have to make his handmade gifts while he sleeps or is off somewhere else, but as he is two, I not only made them around him, I checked to make sure they fit as I was making them.

I never realized how the magic of Yule/Christmas grows in a person. I always just assumed that we all adored this time of years as kids from the moment we were born. That isn’t true, and as a Mama, I am torn between eagerly hoping Haggis loves Yule this year and praying that he will stay little for just one more moment. I know I’m not alone in wishing for more days of magic and wonder with my kid. I figure that the way I feel about him right now – proud, scared, and very much in love – is how our Foremothers felt when they had their babies.

I was going to tie in our lefse adventures by saying that our “long lines of Capable Scandinavian Women™” probably felt that way as they watched Kristen and I panic attack our way through the lefse making process. But I don’t think they were scared.
I think they were proud of us. I know they are proud of us. I felt it when Kristen rolled that first perfect circle. I heard it as we both groaned in pleasure with our first bites. I saw it in the glint of light off Kristen’s Great Grandma Mae’s watch. It echoed in my bones a few days later when Ian and I munched on lefse and watched Olaf’s Frozen Adventure (where a family mentions lefse making being their Yule tradition).
Lefse wasn’t something I grew up with, but it is something Haggis is growing up with. All because Kristen had Foremothers who made it and who still whisper in her ears and guide her hands.

Hail our Beloved Mothers!
Hail our Disir!
Hail Great Grandma Mae!

Recipes

Potato Leek Soup

I made potato leek soup for supper, and it was fucking delicious.

It’s cold here, and we’ve been sick for a month. First, with a head cold that Haggis and I traded back and forth – and that Ian still has – and then with a rude stomach bug that Haggis had and shared with me. I know he got it from one of the kids at the Lego play session at the library, but Ian swears it was just something in the air at the park. Whatever.

All that said, I posted a picture of cooking leeks to Instagram today, and someone (Hi HippyMama2011!) asked for the recipe. Keep in mind that this is enough to serve two people dinner and with some leftover for lunch for Ian. So. Yeah. If you want more maybe double the recipe?

What you need:

1 Leek (including the green top bits)

2 potatoes (Idaho)

3 cups broth (I used Better Than Bouillion  No Chicken base.)

1 tsp Colemans mustard (wet not dry)

Olive oil

1 cup whole milk

1 whole bay leaf

ground black pepper

poultry seasoning

dill

How to make it:

Slice up and clean the leek discarding any wonky bits up top and the root. Saute in olive oil. Peel potatoes and add them to the pot. Add stock, Coleman’s, herbs, whole bay leaf, and pepper. Cover pot and simmer until the potatoes are cooked through (or 3 hours, which is what I did). Once it is done blend until smooth. I use a stick blender but any blender will work. A potato masher or fork will work too. Use what you have, I don’t judge. Once the soup is as smooth as you want it, add the milk. Stir. Eat.

I made garlic bread to go with it because I could – and I will also make garlic bread when possible – but I’m sure a salad would go well with it too. If you want to feel super fancy you can make some break and bake sugar cookies with turkeys on them for after. That is absolutely what Haggis and I did.

I don’t have pictures for you but hopefully, the recipe will be fine anyway.

Let me know how it goes! Happy eating!

 

Recipes

Vegetarian Homemade Hamburger Helper

I have a recipe to share, but before I post it, I want to say one thing.

Y’all. There are 80 days left in this decade. Eighty. Eight-zero. 

What do you plan to do with those eighty days? 

I am going to try and learn to meditate. Wish me luck! 

And now, the food! 

When I was a kid, I loved Hamburger Helper Lasagna. When Ian and I were first dating, I introduced him to it but replaced the hamburger with Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles because he’s been a vegetarian for religious reasons since he was a teen. Anyway, he had it and loved it just as much as I do. 

Fast forward to a few months ago, I was reading something that I can’t recall the name of now and discovered that the “enzymes” listed in the ingredients for cheese (and products using cheese) aren’t always vegetarian. More often than not, “enzymes” means animal rennet. Color me surprised and slightly pissed off. 

A LOT of the products we’d been eating had rennet in them, and we didn’t know. But we know now, and it is helping us make more informed purchases. Click this sentence to get the link to the vegetarian cheese list I use while grocery shopping.

(fyi clicking the links I post doesn’t do anything for me. I include them simply because I like you. You’re welcome.)

Because of the rennet issue, I had to figure out how to make our “special” comfort food from scratch. I know that I should have done this years ago, but I was lazy. What matters is that I have a new recipe now, and I am sharing it with y’all. I will save the witchy bits for after the recipe so that folks who don’t want that info don’t have to read it. 

Here is what you will need: 

  • 1 bag Morningstar Farms veggie crumbles
  • 8 oz mafalda pasta (if you can’t find this use bowtie. It will taste the same)
  • 1 c chopped white onion (I used frozen)
  • 4 cloves minced garlic (use as much or as little as you like)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 
  • 11.5oz can low sodium V8
  • 2 c hot water
  • 2 tbsp Better Than Bouillon’s vegan “chicken” broth paste
  • 8oz can tomato sauce
  • 2 tbsp onion and chive cream cheese
  • mozzarella (I use BelGioioso)
  • oregano
  • basil
  • black pepper

Instructions:

Heat the olive oil in a pan, add onions. Saute until they are semi-translucent ( 3-5 minutes). Add garlic. Saute for another minute or two. Add the veggie crumbles. Stir to mix with the onions and garlic. 

Add in the pasta

Mix broth paste and water. 

Add V8, broth, and tomato sauce to the pan. Stir until its all mixed together. It will be soupy. That is how it is supposed to look. Add black pepper, oregano, and basil to your tastes. 

Stir so everything is well mixed, put a lid on it, and cook on medium – stirring every few minutes – for 15-20 minutes or until pasta is al dente. 

When the pasta is ready, turn off the burner, stir in the cream cheese and sprinkle/dot mozzarella on top of pasta. Cover with lid and let sit for a few minutes so the cheese can melt. 

Here are some pictures from when I made it:

See? I told you it would be a bit soupy. The pasta will absorb some of the liquid, and the starches will help the rest to thicken into a tasty sauce.

A note regarding the V8, I know it sounds meh, but, honestly, it’s a quick way to get veggies into something. An 11.5 oz can of V8 is two servings of vegetables. I tend to add it to anything that requires tomato cause. I use low sodium because it tastes better.

Now to the witchy bits:

My household had a few physical issues on the evening I made this, and I wanted to food to help bring an end to those issues.

I “drew” an Earth symbol (inverted triangle with a horizontal line through it towards to bottom point) with oregano. The symbol represents not only the element of Earth but also the physical body and nourishment (among other things), and oregano promotes peaceful energies (again, among other things). I also sprinkled a bit more oregano over the entire pan to form a pentagram. I ran out of oregano about halfway through the Pent, but the energy and intention were still there, so I kept right on with it.

The mock-Hamburger Helper was delicious and had a slightly bitter flavor – something Ian, Haggis, and I all enjoy – due to the abundance of oregano. I’m already looking forward to making it again as the days get colder. It pairs well with green beans, a salad, and Torshelgd.

Let me know if you make this! Hope you enjoy your weekend, and if you are reading this from Canada: Happy (almost) Thanksgiving!

 

ancestors

A tale of puddles and Great Grandmas…well. One Great Grandma.

Today I wrote thank you notes to all the folks who got Haggis something for his birthday. I had him use crayons to add his thoughts, as well. Afterward, we put on our finest rain gear and puddle-stomped our way to the local post box. Haggis’ right rainboot flew off no less than three times. Don’t worry; he didn’t let the lack of boot stop him from stomp, stomp, stomping his way down the street. Sock be damned. 

Today I vacuumed the common areas of the apartment and mopped the kitchen. I also made dinner, did a load of dishes, washed the stove, taught Haggis where to put the recycling, folded some towels, and remembered to take my allergy pill. 

Oh! And I started to crochet a pair of mittens for Haggis that he promptly frogged (undoing knitting/crochet is called frogging because you “rip it, rip it”). 

I’ll be honest, I was only seven rows into the cuff, but the frogging irritated me more than the puddle soaked sock did. 

Instead of yelling – which I am trying to stop doing – I sighed, moved the project, and went back to making dinner. Because I can always restart the mitten, the world won’t stop turning because a two-year-old disrespected my WIP. I also thought about my Great Grandma. She and I weren’t all that close, but since having Haggis, I’ve gained a respect for her that I never had when she was alive. 

Towards the end of my pregnancy, my kinsman did a rune reading for me. According to the runes, I would turn to my female ancestors to help me through the birthing process. I didn’t. 

I did, however, ask them for strength a few hours after Haggis was born when a nurse came into my room to tell me that Haggis was in the NICU. I turned to them when I had to schlep, three days post c-section, to the Upper East Side of Manhattan (from fucking Bed-Stuy) to see my baby who was still in the NICU. 

I remember holding him in the NICU and thinking about my Great Grandmother bring my Uncle Rudy home from the hospital. He was so small when he was born that they told her he would die. Instead of accepting that fate, she turned on the oven and kept him in a box on the open oven door until he was healthy enough to move to a proper bed. My Uncle, who is a fucking riot, by the way, didn’t die. He lived, and because I was told that story about him when I was a kid, I was able to push through the fear and worry I had for Haggis so I could be the Mama he needed. 

I think about my Great Grandmother a lot now that I’m a parent. When I leave offerings for my Ancestors, she is my main focus. I get the impression that she is the loudest voice that guides the runes I pull, and sometimes I think I can hear her telling me to take better care of myself. I’m trying to listen. I’m trying to be as gentle with myself as I am with Haggis. I don’t know a lot about my Great Grandma’s upbringing, and I’m not here to talk about what may or may not have been her reality back then. All I know is this: Great Grandma wanted good things for the three generations of grandkids she was able to meet in her life. And I know, in my heart of hearts, that she wants good things for Haggis too. 

Parenting is difficult, but I figure that between Ian, my family and friends, and Great Grandma, I can do this. 

The picture below is Grandma and Uncle Rudy, by the way. See, told you he grew up just fine. 

GmaCole_UncleRudy

Also, if you haven’t done so recently – or ever – maybe leave a bit of food or drink out for your ancestors. They do a lot for you, and it’s important to let them know they are appreciated. If your blood kin were a bunch of assholes, you don’t need to leave them anything. Ancestors are more than blood. Anyone who has passed that influenced your life in a way you appreciate is an Ancestor (even if you never met them). If anyone says different you send them to me. I’ll set em straight.

 

Recipes

Here is my shortbread recipe.

I’ve been feeling a bit meh lately, so I decided to make some comfort food for supper. Because I am awesome, I am going to share the recipe for one of the items (cinnamon caramel shortbread) with you. 

Don’t you feel special?

Because I like you, I am also going to give you the recipe up here at the top of the post instead of forcing you to scroll through miles of crap you do not care about before giving you the good stuff. You’re welcome. 

Cinnamon Caramel Shortbread Recipe:

  • 1/2 cup soft butter 
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup powdered sugar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • 1 tbsp caramel syrup (optional)

Heat oven to 325f. 

Cream the butter, sugar, and caramel together. 

Add in the flour and cinnamon. 

At this point, other recipes will tell you turn your dough out onto a counter/cutting board and kneed it. Real talk? I don’t do that. You can if you want, though. Live your best life. 

Using a spoon (cold metal spoons are GREAT for this) spread the dough out into a pie pan or square baking dish. 

Bake for 30-35 minutes (I do 33). 

Cool on a rack in the pan for 30ish minutes before removing from the pan.

Cut into triangles/squares/rectangles/whatever. Consume. 

This shortbread goes well with tea, coffee, hot chocolate, or – at least according to Haggis – ketchup flavored potato chips. 

According to the News, it’s going to rain tonight. This shortbread and a cup of tea should pair nicely with a rainy evening. I’ve had a week, y’all. Hell. I’ve had a month of Mondays. The cooler weather (finally) arriving was a bright spot for me. I am hoping the hygge promised to me by the weather people at News 12 Brooklyn will also be a bright spot. 

I also made a quick apple chutney to go with our vegetarian bratwurst and pierogi. It was tasty AF. I honestly don’t remember everything I included, so you don’t get directions to make that. I’ll try to remember to write it down next time because there will be a next time. That shit was delicious. 

Here are some pictures of my cooking process and rad shortbread pan (Here’s an unaffiliated link for you to click so you can buy one too!)

What kind of hygge meals do you like to make? Tell me in the comments! 

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Apple Cider Floats

Autumn in NYC is rarely on time. Some years I think that Summer has a lease that it can’t break, and that is why we suffer the heat and humidity it brings well into October. Today is the Autumn Equinox, and as such, I had hoped to wake up to cool weather that allowed for sweaters and soup. The high temp for today is 86f, and the weather lady promised high humidity. Not the kind of soup I was hoping for, but I guess it will have to do.

Because the weather is an asshole, Haggis and I will only be going outside so we can run to the store for ice cream so we can make our traditional Second Harvest Floats. 

It’s 9:44 in the morning, and I’m still in my pajamas, so I don’t have pictures of the recipe for you. I’ll try to remember to post the process to Instagram/Facebook later, but I make no promises. 

Anyway, recipe wise, it’s pretty simple. 

You’ll need:

  • Apple cider 
  • Dulce de leche ice cream  

Scoop some ice cream into a pint glass – or mug/bowl/whatever. Live your best life, sweet pea. I don’t judge – and cover with apple cider. Consume. 

If you don’t have access to dulce de leche ice cream, get vanilla and some caramel sauce. Again, add all to a food receptacle and consume. 

We like to make a glass for Fladvad and Svensdottir – what we call our House Wights – to thank them for protecting us and our home. We have a tradition of leaving them offerings on the Solstices and Equinoxes, and so far it is working well for everyone involved. 

What are you doing for the Mabon/Harvest Home/Winter Finding/Second Harvest/Autumn Equinox? 

Uncategorized

Chicken Fried Virtues.

New York City Heathens hosts a monthly Lore Chat – that I rarely make – and this month we are talking about the Nine Noble Virtues. 

If you are unfamiliar with the 9NV here is the list:

  1. Courage
  2. Truth
  3. Honour
  4. Fidelity
  5. Discipline
  6. Hospitality
  7. Self Reliance
  8. Industriousness
  9. Perseverance

Those bad boys are a gift to you from the Odinic Rite. The Odinic Rite are racist, misogynistic assholes and they are part of the rot in Heathenry’s roots. Congratulations to us, right? 

The Asatru Folk Assembly has their own version that they call “Some Odinist Values”:

  1. Strength is better than weakness
  2. Courage is better than cowardice
  3. Joy is better than guilt
  4. Honour is better than dishonour
  5. Freedom is better than slavery
  6. Kinship is better than alienation
  7. Realism is better than dogmatism
  8. Vigor is better than lifelessness
  9. Ancestry is better than rootlessness

Those aren’t a direct attack on Abrahamic faiths at all…(hint: yes they are). 

The Asatru Folk Assembly (henceforth known as the AFA) are also part of the rot that plagues the roots of Heathenry. What we know as Asatru/Heathenry/Odinism in the United States is heavily influenced by Stephen McNallen (founder of the AFA), and the 9NV/SOV are part of that. 

A few years ago – I want to say 2017 – people started to become more vocal about the 9NV and why they are 1. awful and 2. unnecessary.

Real talk: I nothing the 9NV/SOV. If they disappeared from the collective Heathen consciousness tomorrow night after Lore Chat, I wouldn’t know or care. I don’t use them as a code of conduct or a moral compass. In truth, I subscribe to a Penn Jillette mindset. I rape, steal, and murder all I want. I want none of that, and as such, I don’t do those things. No list of virtues or parables is going to make me want to do those things less than I want to do them now (which is still none). But I can see the draw at having a list of things that tell someone how to behave. Lists are a comfort to some people. They can bring order to a chaotic mind – talking about myself here – or be a touchstone in times of stress or upset. 

Lists are a good thing. 

So why not have a different list of virtues? Perhaps one that has a song that goes along with it so that it’s easy and fun to remember?

My friends, that song is Chicken Fried by Zac Brown Band. Don’t roll your eyes at me, Nancy. I know I sound ridiculous. Guess what? So are the 9NV/SOV but people gave them a chance. Give Chicken Fried and me the same. 

The first verse and chorus of the song drip with pride and love for the land where the singer comes from, the home he now shares with his family, and the joy he takes from being part of his community. 

Look:

Well I was raised underneath the shade of a Georgia pine

And that’s home you know

Sweet tea pecan pie and homemade wine

Where the peaches grow

And my house it’s not much to talk about

But it’s filled with love that’s grown in southern ground

And a little bit of chicken fried

 

Cold beer on a Friday night

A pair of jeans that fit just right

And the radio up

I like to see the sunrise

See the love in my woman’s eyes

Feel the touch of a precious child

And know a mother’s love

 

You see those lyrics there? They speak to the first few items on my list of how to be a Good Heathen. 

  • Honor and protect your land
  • Honor and protect your family
  • Build a comfortable home filled with love and peace

So far, so good, right? 

Let’s look at the next verse:

It’s funny how it’s the little things in life that mean the most

Not where you live, what you drive or the price tag on your clothes

There’s no dollar sign on a piece of mind this I’ve come to know

So if you agree have a drink with me

Raise your glasses for a toast

To a little bit of chicken fried

It talks about living a “simple” life that focuses on experiences and not things and then urges folks to share in whatever measure of wealth this singer has. To me, that counts as two more virtues:

  • Build frith within your community
  • Don’t hoard resources. 

Looks at us! Already up to five! We’re awesome!

In the next verse, the singer thanks god for his life, for his country and it’s freedom*, and for the people who gave their lives to protect the things he holds dear and sacred.

I thank god for my life

And for the stars and stripes

May freedom forever fly, let it ring.

Salute the ones who died

The ones that give their lives so we don’t have to sacrifice

All the things we love

Like our chicken fried

From that we get:

  • Honor your gods
  • Honor your ancestors

The song speaks to one virtue that the 9NV/SOV miss entirely. Chicken Fried ranks 39th in the list of the Top 100 Country Songs of all Time. Country is a genre that, despite what people would have you believe, appeals to more than white, Republican, Christians. I’m not saying that the fans of the genre aren’t overwhelmingly that demographic, because they are. What I am saying is that this song, like Heathenry, appeals to more than white dudes named Bryce who own trucks, love the Confederacy, and think consumption of meat and beer is a right, not a suggestion. That being said, here is the last virtue:

  • Race doesn’t matter, deeds do.

Aka race/ethnicity means nothing in the face of our gods. Heathenry has no space for racism. You can’t be hospitable while being a racist. You can’t honor the land spirits and the people who lived on and worked that land before you while being racist. You can’t worship the multi-ethnic Germanic/Scandinavian gods while being racist.

Anyone who says you can is wrong and has little to no understanding of our lore or the culture it is based on.

All that said, I want to stress that while I enjoy the song in question, I don’t honestly think it should be held up as a beacon of Proper Heathenry. The virtues fond within it though…we should keep those.

Here they are again just for the heck of it:

  • Honor and protect your land
  • Honor and protect your family
  • Build a comfortable home filled with love and peace
  • Build frith within your community
  • Don’t hoard resources. 
  • Honor your gods
  • Honor your ancestors
  • Race doesn’t matter, deeds do.

For what it’s worth, I know that is only eight virtues.  I don’t think we need any virtues/commandments/whatever to live a good, honest, welcoming life that honors our gods, ancestors, and planet. But I’m just one person. What do I know?

*We can discuss American Civil Religion some other time. 

Uncategorized

Mama-kin

I was chatting with a friend today about all the glorious nonsense that comes with being a parent, and she called me ‘Mama-kin’. The term is heartwarming, and I decided to make it part of my vernacular as soon as I saw it.

I love the term because of the images in coujurs up for me. It makes me think of the moms who helped me through my pregnancy with Haggis. It invokes images of the grandmothers who smile at Haggis and I as we walk to the park or store. It reminds me of the mothers who take minutes and hours out of their precious and rare free time to talk to me about my life and share in my joys and struggles.

It reminds of Sigyn and Frigg, both of whom know what it is to lose a child.
It reminds me of Brigid, who crossed traditions to remain with her children.
It reminds me of Mother Bhumi, who appealed to Vishnu on behalf of humanity and in doing so saved the world.
It reminds me of Freya, who isn’t defined by motherhood.
It reminds me of Loki, who has a womb and carried a child but is not, in fact, a mother.

It reminds me that I am more than a mother even while focusing the majority of my time on being Haggis’ Mama.

Hail the Mothers.
Foremothers, current mothers, and mothers to be.
May Frigg give you patience.
May Sigyn help you heal the hurts your babies throw your way.
May Freya remind you that you are more than the Mom of your parts.
May Loki keep those babies laughing and safely distracted so you can finally – FINALLY – finish your food/drink/work/phone call.
Hail Mama-kin!

Thank you for reminding me that I am enough (hint: so are you). I love your exhausted guts.

Landvættir · Uncategorized

A Wild Haggis

Haggis has been called Haggis since I first learned I was pregnant. It’s the only name used for my kid on social media/the internet and as such folks tend to think it is his real name. This has led to more than one person linking me to stories about wild haggis in Scotland. I always laugh when I see the stories because my Haggis is roughly the same size (though far cuter) as those fictitious creatures. And thanks to an acquaintance telling me about Wildschooling, my Haggis is just as wild at the mythical beasts in those stories.

For years I complained that NYC doesn’t have enough green spaces. I bitched and moaned at the idea of a child of mine growing up surrounded by pavement. And then I got pregnant and was reminded repeatedly that NYC has landvættir and thriving green spaces.

Brooklyn isn’t as wild as the spaces I frequented in my youth back in the Pacific Northwest, but it has secret bits of nature that consistently take me by surprise. Our neighborhood has lawns with actual grass and trees every few feet. There are birds and flowers of all shapes and colors. In the summer dragonflies are everywhere and a train ride 20 minutes in either direction can land us at Prospect Park (and it’s zoo) or Coney Island (which has an aquarium).

Haggis doesn’t have a lot of woods to run around in and he doesn’t get to plant a garden with Da as we’d envisioned, but he gets to touch trees and walk to see the fish pond down the street. He gets to run around in a park where our kindred has been leaving offerings and honoring landvættir for a handful of years.

He’s learning and growing so much and this city and it’s wights are helping to shape the person he will become.

Now if only they’d help me teach him not to lick the low fences around trees.