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MaskedOne
13 Feb 2015, 14:07
Soooo..................

We're a few days late (life intervened) but through the month of January votes were polled for Member of the Month and ze winner is.............

Rae'ya

Congratulations Rae'ya, you have been selected by your friends and neighbors to publicly satisfy our curiosity :)

The rules for this thread are as follows:

-Questions are to be PM-d to me (or V at such time as she reclaims the thread from me but if her work schedule for the immediate future is as busy as normal, that'll be a while)

-I will post received questions in thread for Rae'ya to answer.

-In the interest of keeping the thread neat and orderly, please don't post directly unless you are Rae'ya or I (or V stealing the thread back), send questions my way.

-Keep questions in reason if you want answers

Ye Traditional Starting Questions:

1) What is your favorite word, and why?

2) What is your least favorite word, and why?

3) What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

4) What turns you off?

5) What is your favorite curse word?

6) What sound or noise do you love?

7) What sound or noise do you hate?

8) What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

9) Do you believe in an afterlife?

10) What is your spiritual path?

Rae'ya
13 Feb 2015, 19:55
1) What is your favorite word, and why?

I don't think I have a favourite word... I love words in general. There are some words that I think sound really cool, but rarely have a chance to use... like 'discombobulate' and 'defenestrate'. But I don't play favourites with words... I have enough love for them all.

2) What is your least favorite word, and why?

See above. Actually I take that back... there's a lot of modern neologisms that annoy me. We have perfectly good words that have been around for hundreds of years, why do we have to bastardise them into this modern ridiculousness? 'Cray-cray' is one that is going around my workplace at the moment. What's wrong with saying crazy? Or lunacy? Or ridiculous? Or preposterous? Or insane? Or stark raving mad? Or ludicrous? I'm a traditionalist, unless it's an Aussie colloquialism that has been around for generations. But then, I'm also guilty of making up a word every now and then, so maybe I'm also a hypocrite :p

3) What turns you on creatively, spiritually or emotionally?

The mountains. Caves. Animals. Wind storms. An unexpected moment of beauty in nature, like when you catch that particular golden light on the grass as the sun is going down, and everything seems gilded and soft.

I also find that I'm often inspired (creatively) by well executed artwork... not so much the subject matter or the overall look of the image, but the technical skill behind it. It might be a painting or drawing that I actually dislike, but if the technique is well executed, or unusual, I'm inspired.

4) What turns you off?

People.

Obviously that's a generalisation, because there are some people that I enjoy. But I actually don't find people in general enjoyable, inspiring or interesting. I think that's why I like to socialise online in speciality forums like PF... because the interactions you get and the relationships that you form develop at quite a different level than they would purely face-to-face. Those spiritual, creative and intellectual buttons are pushed in ways that I think the general public have forgotten how to do. I love my true friends (few that they may be), I love my family, I enjoy my acquaintances, but I would quite happily go off into the bush and be a hermit with Torey and not have to deal with the BS that humanity tries to feed me on a daily basis. If my job didn't have animals in it it would be killing my soul... as it is the people are trying their hardest.

5) What is your favorite curse word?

I actually don't swear in real life very often. The one that I say most often is 'bugger', though how much of a curse word that is depends on the country you're from. In Australia it's relatively benign.

6) What sound or noise do you love?

The wind.

7) What sound or noise do you hate?

Washing machines and vacuum cleaners.

8) What profession other than your own would you like to attempt?

I always wanted to do archaeology and/or anthropology, but never studied it because I knew the chances were that I'd end up in a museum, teaching or writing dry academia. Though I did actually list archaeology as my second choices when I applied for Veterinary Science at school. As it turned out, I turned down all my offers to Vet Science and went into Veterinary Nursing instead. I go through patches where I think I'd like to be a treasure hunter. I'd also like to make a career out of writing and art, but I suspect the deadlines and expectations would kill the joy of it and I really don't want to do that.

9) Do you believe in an afterlife?

The short answer is 'yes'. The long answer is that I believe in afterlife options, or several afterlives, depending on which way you want to look at it.

I believe in actual external 'Lands of the Dead' that exist in the Otherworlds... places like Helheim; the Summerlands; Heaven, Hell and Purgatory; Hades and the Elysian Fields; and all the others that are attached to various mythologies. I believe that all these places exist, that they are places within the various Otherworld complexes, and that when we die we may end up in the Land of the Dead that belongs to our spiritual path, under the watchful care of the Death Keeper who rules over that land. I think that most of us end up in a Land of the Dead, either permanently or temporarily (ie before reincarnation). In the Northern faiths, the Lands of the Dead are Helheim (where the majority of people end up), Folkvangr or Vallhol (where those slain in battle end up, depending on whether they are chosen by Freyja or Odhinn) and Aegir's Hall (where Ran keeps those who drown for as long as she pleases before sending them on to Helheim).

I believe that reincarnation is possible, and that the likelihood of reincarnation has more to do with your spiritual path than with any sort of karmic debt that needs to be played out. Reincarnation is not unheard of within the Northern paths, but it's not a primary option. Then there are some faiths that don't have reincarnation as an option at all... does that mean that they are more spiritually evolved than those who reincarnate regularly? No. It just means that the goals and aspirations of the faith are different.

I believe that it is possible to become a protective spirit attached to a piece of land (or building or body of water or similar), which is sometimes called a landwight/landvaettr but which is not the actual landvaettr itself (which is the ancient spirit of the land and which is very much NOT human in any shape or form). Sometimes this involves hanging around in the burial mound where you or someone important to you was buried. Sometimes it involves staying with the land that you and your family owned. Sometimes it's staying with the land where you were killed or buried, which I think often happens with 'sacred burial ground' locations.

I believe that it is possible to become an Ancestor (with a capital A) spirit, who actively watches over the ancestral line and guides the descendants. Ancestors come in two or three flavours... those that aren't interested, those who will respond if petitioned, and those who are actively engaged with their descendants. I think the first two are what most of us will end up being, but the final one is an active 'career choice' so to speak. Ancestor spirits exist in a number of faiths, but are sometimes called different things. In the Northern faiths, female Ancestor spirits are called Disir, males are sometimes called Alfar (which is actually debatable, but not really relevant here), and there is some question about whether the lesser norns referred to in some of the Lore are also female Ancestor spirits.

I also believe that remaining 'earthbound' is an option, sometimes by choice and sometimes because you've become stuck and need help from a psychopomp to move on. It's also possible to get stuck or lost in the Otherworlds on your way to your Land of the Dead, which again requires the aid of a psychopomp to get you to where you're going.

10) What is your spiritual path?

Complicated. :p

I identify primarily as Northern Tradition. The NT is a relatively new term (which makes the use of 'Tradition' a little silly and not the word I would have chosen) and differs from most Heathen paths in that: there is no reconstructionist claim at all; UPG and 'spirit-taught' is well accepted and respected (within reason); ALL the Northern deities and powerful spirits are worthy of worship and fealty (including the Jotnar ones); and the Viking Age practices of Northern Europe are not the primary inspiration. It's... ahh... controversial to claim to be Northern Tradition amongst many Heathen communities, but it's even more controversial to claim the term 'Heathen' while fitting into the above differences.

What makes me primarily Northern Tradition is the cultural context within which I practice, my concept of the soul complex, the section of the Otherworlds that I interface with (the Nine Worlds), and the deity to whom I am sworn. The cultural context of Northern Tradition is not that different to most of Heathenry, except that we are less worried about recreating Viking Age practices and rituals. Some of the core things are still there... a focus on hospitality, frith, personal honor and hamingja, while some of the core things are less important or variable, like kindred, blood ties and the Nine Noble Virtues (which is a modern construct anyway and has become debatable amongst recon groups). It's also the context within which I practice ancestor work and work with the Runespirits (for divination and magick). Honoring the local landvaettir is not uncommon in NT and Heathenry, but I find that my personal landvaettir and animal guide work is more directly influenced by the shamanist and animist in me than it is by my NT cultural context.

My 'map' of the soul is largely influence by the Northern faiths and which as far as I can tell, has been more thoroughly explored by NT'ers than by traditional Heathens. It goes beyond lich/lik (physical body), hamr (astral body) hamingja (personal luck) and fylgja (fetch/animal guide/helper/protector) to include hugr (rational thought), munr (reflective thought), ond (life force), modhr (emotional body), othr (connection to the Divine), megin (personal power), and related concepts like litr (life zest), vili (will power), ve (innate psychic ability), mattr (physical power), and gythja (the higher self). And yes, I was lazy and didn't actually transcribe any of those Old Norse words with the proper accents and characters.

I am sworn to Skuld, who is one of the Nornir of the Northern pantheons. The Nornir (Urdhr, Verdhandi and Skuld) are the deities of wyrd and orlog (the Northern concepts of something along the lines of 'fate' and 'destiny')... they spin, weave, unravel and carve the patterns of our actions and choices. Skuld is the Norn who cuts our Thread when it is our time to die, and who marks out the set future events in the Pattern of wyrd (which have become set because of our choices and actions, not because they are predestined). She is therefore connected to death, but also to the concepts of 'debt' and 'obligation'. She doesn't help me with spells or energy work

I'm technically also a shamanist or shamanic practitioner, though I don't always use that term. This isn't a spiritual path in itself, but is a way to live your spiritual path, if that makes sense. I journey into the Otherworlds using a trance state via drumming (on a physical drum which possesses it's own spirit). I mostly do Innerworlds work, but I do also fare forth into the Otherworlds sometimes. I am not a shaman, but someone who utilises shamanic techniques to improve my communication with my deities. landvaettir and the spirits I work with, and to help with my personal understanding and growth. I don't offer services to other people, but you could say that I integrate some degree of my spirituality into my job as a vet nurse/tech, in terms of healing and acting as a psychopomp. I honor my local landvaettir and the animal guides of my local fauna. I don't specifically consider myself a bioregional animist, but there is definitely a bioregional slant to my path. I work with animal guides (once upon a time we were called 'totemists', but I never liked that term and it's been fazed out of the wider community for a number of years now), mostly those of domestic and local (native and non native) animals, but also of others.

Magick-wise I primarily make charms and do some energy work. I use bindrunes, stones, essential oils, blood and animal bits most often, with a little bit of herbwork here and there. My energy work is more about places than people... I'm not a healer of people, but I do clearings, shields and wardings, and groundings of rooms and buildings. I also do a little bit of energy work with my (animal) patients. I rarely do spells, and when I do it's usually for protection or personal growth purposes, but I've had to curse-break once or twice and I've successfully done some fertility spells. I like the physical anchor that a charm creates, as most of my magick is for a lasting effect.

Finally, I do also identify as a Demonolator, though to be honest I'm not active in the community anymore and I don't practice many of the common practices. The term applies to me because the other group of deities that I work with are Goetic Demons, and because some of my attitudes and tendencies come from my background in Demonolatry rather than my Northern Tradition practices. Barbatos is the Demon I work with on a regular basis, but I have also worked with a number of others, and when I want a bit of outside help it is the Demons that I turn to. Most Demonolators are ritual magicians, and while I am competent at ritual, I rarely do full ritual unless I need to pull out the big guns. You could say that I'm LHP at my core, which is why I've maintained my Demonolatry and why it marries so well with my other practices.

I think that covers it :p

MaskedOne
13 Feb 2015, 20:07
It occurred to me that I can reuse questions sooo.................

1) What are your three favorite books and why (the why being optional)?

2) What are your three favorite movies and why (see above)?

3) What book or books do you hate most?

4) What movie or movies do you hate most?

5) If a random omnipotent being offers to place you anywhere in time and space to live and provides everything (to include but not be limited to knowledge of local language, starting funds, period relevant skills in a craft and a history that will stand up to any mortal scrutiny) necessary to start a comfortable life, where and when would you pick?

Rae'ya
13 Feb 2015, 20:33
It occurred to me that I can reuse questions sooo.................

I promise these answers will be shorter :p

1) What are your three favorite books and why (the why being optional)?

Kate Forsyth's 'Witches of Eileannan' series (which is actually 6 books). These are the books that set me down the paganism and witchcraft path (even though they are fiction). They are beautifully written with intricate world building and character development. I've read the entire series 4-5 times in the last 18 years and will continue to reread them until I wear them out and can't find new copies anymore.

2) What are your three favorite movies and why (see above)?

Labyrinth... because David Bowie (well not just him lol). I've loved this film since I was a kid and still love it. I have the soundtrack and love it. I wanted to be Sarah so bad when I was a kid.

Otherwise, what counts as my favourite movie changes over time and I can't really pin any down right now. My favourite genre is horror, particularly supernatural horror.

3) What book or books do you hate most?

I don't really 'hate' books. But there have been a few books that I couldn't get all the way through, and there are a number of books that I wont touch with a ten foot pole. Generally, anything poorly written or repetitive is ignored. That pile is currently topped with Fifty Shades of Grey and the Twilight Series. I can't say that I 'hate' them though, as I have never read them and don't intend to read them.

4) What movie or movies do you hate most?

Boy humor films. I really, really don't like that style of comedy. Anything with Adam Sandler, Will Ferrel, Ben Stiller, Jim Carrey, Vince Vaughn and their ilk is anathema to me. I will murder you with my bare hands before I watch a boy humor film with you.

5) If a random omnipotent being offers to place you anywhere in time and space to live and provides everything (to include but not be limited to knowledge of local language, starting funds, period relevant skills in a craft and a history that will stand up to any mortal scrutiny) necessary to start a comfortable life, where and when would you pick?

Viking Age or pre-Viking Age Northern Europe. What can I say, the thought of being a poor farmer eking out a living (or death) on the land and never knowing whether I'll survive the winter or starve to death is very attractive to me. Plus in the Viking Age north I have some freedoms as a woman that no other woman in that period of Europe's history (or the following several hundred years) had. I don't necessarily need to be a jarl's wife, but obviously I would prefer it if the omnipotent being made me a landowner rather than a slave.