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Meeting the 9 daughters of Ran

Week 3: Hevring - Undine of Sorrow and Suffering
Mermaid of
Surface Currents

Personal Gnosis on Hevring UPG

Week 2: Hronn Previous MermaidNext Mermaid Week 4: Duva

Hevring Crest, Mermaid of Sorrow

Prayer Beads for the Mermaids

Sunday June 27, 2010

On Sunday I went to a bead store, with the idea of perhaps finding some beads to represent the nine daughters of Ran. I browsed until I found myself fascinated by a set of 7 shark teeth separated by tactite (a black mineral created by meteor impact). I got red beads for Blodhughadda at the center, 8 sodalite beads for the 8 other sisters, and two blue heart shaped beads for their mother Ran, or perhaps Ran and Aegir, their father. It was only as I walked back to the car that I noticed I was a bit tranced out. I took this as a good sign that I hadn't just wasted money, and that They really did want a necklace. My only worry at that point was that they might require the necklace to be sacrificed into the river.

I strung the extra beads together into a bracelet, except for the two red-dyed coral beads which wouldn't fit on the string. The extra two went into a small plastic bag so I wouldn't lose them.


Blodughadda, Opener of the Ways

When I approached the water, I started singing Blodughadda's song. That wouldn't be necessary if I were near the sea, but seeing as I'm on a river, She bridges the waters, connecting rivers and sea to let me talk to Her sisters. I sat on the shore and waited. The spot that felt right this time was less isolated than the previous ones. I could hear people talking loudly to my left, though I could not see them. It was a bit distracting, but hey, I'll meet Them where They want. I'm just happy I don't have to go all the way to the sea. Though I'm sure I'll need to at some point.

Surprisingly, it was red-haired Blodughadda who showed up. "Why are you here?" She asked. She looked very muscular and in charge, and seems to take the role of protective big sister. She wore a necklace that had teeth much like those shark teeth I was holding.

"Greetings Blodughadda. You said that offering to one means offering to all 9. So even though you didn't specifically tell me to come today, I am here to offer to another one of your sisters. I am here to become an ally, perhaps a friend "

"You brought me something. Come into the water. Show me in the water. Sit." That's the way She talks, mostly in 3 to 4 words sentences, and a lot of them are commands. Or they sound like commands when She says them.

So I stepped in, bringing the necklace, bracelet and two red coral beads that didn't fit on the string in my hand. I sat on a submerged rock, and dipped them into the water for Her. "Drop them," She said, pointing at the two red coral beads.

"Are you sure?" I asked.

"If I ask you to, will you drop one?"

"Yes," I answered.

"Drop one."

"Are you sure?" I asked again.

"Yes, drop one," and I did. "Drop the other." I did. "Now try to find them." I couldn't find them, so She added: "They are mine. They always were. You can keep the rest, I will not ask for them. Make the necklace for us." I was relieved it had only cost me two beads, and that I'd get to keep the necklace. For a while, at least. She blessed the beads in the water, or did something to them at least, and I put the shark teeth necklace around my neck, while the extra beads remained strung around my wrist.


Hevring Arrives

Soon, another mermaid showed up. "My sister, Hevring." She was kind of slim, in face and body, with auburn hair. She reminded me of a sad college girl. I thought She was pretty. Certainly, there was something odd about her features, not quite human, but pretty nonetheless, in a "sad pretty girl" you want to comfort kind of way. Then again, my notions of beauty extend to the fairly exotic.

"Greetings Hevring," I said, as I made my way back to get the banana and lancet. I threw the banana into the water for Her.

"Sit," She said, so I sat back on the rock. "You have suffered. Did you suffer for me?" She cocked Her head, with that sad expression. I took my lancet, and with a sting, offered the first drop of blood into the water.

"I suffered for all the spirits that are my relations. But yes, I realize now I suffered for You." She was talking about yesterday's sweatlodge ordeal.

"That is good. Suffering can be good. I will speak with you until the ninth drop is offered"

At this point, a woman among those to my left exclaimed loudly and angrily: "It's my fucking birthday. So where's my fucking gift? Do you see a birthday present? Noooooo. No birthday present!" She went on with her rant, but more softly after that, and I wasn't all that interested in hearing what more she had to say. I could not get more blood from that finger, and had to prick it again.

Hevring said: "People think life is just about waiting for the next joy. Or going after the next joy. It is not. They live their lives waiting for joy, enduring their suffering while they wait. Suffering is a powerful thing. Don't waste it. Do you understand?"

"Yes, I think so." No amount of milking the finger would work, so I went to prick the second finger.

"When you suffer, ask yourself, 'What is this suffering good for?' If you're bleeding because you've cut yourself, offer the blood to your spirits. If you are hurt, find how this hurt could help others. Use it. Use your suffering. Sing my song, and I will help you find what that suffering is good for. If nothing else, you can offer it. You can offer your pain and suffering. I will take it if none of your spirits will. Do you understand ?"

"Yes, thank you for this teaching. I... hope we can be allies, and perhaps friends one day." I was pricking a third finger by that point, wondering why it was so hard to get any blood out of them today.

"If you will take my hand, I will be your friend. But realize that you will not be able to dismiss your suffering and sorrow. You will have to use them. You will have to respect them. Sorrow and suffering will be your friends. Do you want that?" She asked softly, as if either choice I made would make Her very sad. As if She was considering what each choice would cost me in tears and pain.

I gulped, thought for a few moments, then stood up, stepping deeper into the water with my hand extended. "Yes, I will take your hand." She came closer, and I went deeper still. Our hands touched and it felt... like touching a hand made of cold water, though my hand was in the air. She said something then, but I don't remember what.

The ninth drop fell, our time was over. So I thanked Her, walked back to shore and picked up my things. I was feeling very good about our meeting, but was going to be late for roller derby practice. Again. I stopped long enough to sing Her song as I gazed at the river.


Reflections on Suffering

I'm not sure what to expect from this week. Surely I've done my share of suffering at the sweatlodge? Meh. Probably not. Now I have to put Her advice into practice I suppose.

"Using my suffering" is really a powerful concept for me. I tend to use TV and reading to distract myself from uncomfortable emotions. But I like reframing it as something I can use, or at least offer. I'll have to see how well I can do that in the coming weeks.

As I went over Raven's account of meeting Her that night (see Wyrdwalkers, below), I wondered why She had chosen to appear to me as the "pretty sad girl", rather than the tattered raven haired sobbing incarnation of despair that he saw. He had to offer Her real tears, had to find a real grief to cry about. Anything less would not have been enough of an offering. Then again, I did my loud public sobbing and wailing in despair in the sweatlodge the day before, so maybe She didn't need to make that point to me. She already had what She wanted from me.

For my musings on sorrow and suffering, read about yesterday's sweatlodge ordeal.


Hevring's Song

When I memorize spirit songs, I "write" them into my body. I focus on a different part of my body or gesture for each part of the song. This helps me to memorize them, and to make them a part of me. There are the gestures I associate with each line of Hevring's song: (see references for the song words)

Feel my heartbeat, turn my head to the left, as if hiding tears
Feel my heart again, blink hard and feel the wetness in my eyes
Feel as if pierced in the heart by a fishing hook, and as it is ripped out, my skin is shred
Feel as if the blood was spilling out of my chest

For the chorus, feel sorrow, a glowing, determined, empowering sorrow, radiating from the emptiness.
My voice becomes a wailing brutal storm wind, lightning, thunder and rain raging unyielding all around.

Cast my head down, letting my hair hide my face, shoulders back, as if I were a corpse floating on the water
My face soaked by the stinging salty sea it is in, waves battering my lifeless body, wind and storm scream about me.
Then there is a moment of perfect stillness, as if time had stopped, and I feel my body frozen in time
Then I watch all the blood gushing out of my chest and there is nothing left of me, I am completely empty, hollow, spent.


Meditation of the Week

This week, I'd like you to do two things. One, whenever you feel sorrow, suffering, or even discomfort or stress, ask yourself: "What can this suffering teach me? What is it good for? What could it be trying to tell me?" Just feel what it is your pain is teaching you. Sit with it for a while, instead of trying to distract yourself. Honor your suffering, spend quality time with it.

If you can't figure out what it's good for, that's all right, it's not easy. And two, I'd like you to offer that suffering. If you believe in Jesus, offer it to Him. If you believe in God, offer it to Him. It's all part of Their plan after all, so you can take the time to honor Them for teaching you. If you don't believe in gods, that's fine. Find some concept you believe in.

For instance, Evolution. Offer your suffering to the concept of Evolution. Natural selection works through pain, right? So go ahead and offer it to the shrine of Evolution in your mind. It doesn't matter if it feels silly, try it anyway. Make it a nice shrine though. Maybe there's a picture of Darwin holding hands with a monkey. And there are some peas in a bowl for Mendel on the altar. You know who Gregor Mendel is, right? Come on, the father of genetics, Mendel? If you're going to believe in Evolution, you should know who your heroes are. They died for your sins and all. Okay, they didn't die for your sins, but they did work very hard to create the world you live in, often being ridiculed for their beliefs. The least you can do is remember them. I'll be nice, here's a wikipedia link so you can read about Mendel. He worked with honeybees next, so maybe there's a jar of honey next to the bowl of peas. Even scientists need a little sweetness.

Maybe you're more into values than science. So maybe you can imagine an altar to Wisdom. Wisdom, after all, is the sum of your mistakes, at least the ones you've learned from. Wise people are those who've made many mistakes. What does wisdom look like to you? Is it an inspiring statue? Is it a book on an altar? Maybe it's a little child playing with a ball. Whatever it is, offer your suffering to this concept. And here's the really important part:

Ask for a better understanding of what this suffering is good for.

Wait. Take your time. Sit with it. It may not come right away. Or it might. Contemplate the answer. Sit with it. Spend time with it. If an answer doesn't come, that's all right. Leave it in the back of your mind. The answer will come later. Give thanks to whatever you offered your pain to. Giving thanks is really important, it says that you value what you got, and it improves your chances of getting help next time.

When I do this, which I try to remember to do now, I get through my suffering. It takes time, but that's okay. It's supposed to. Then I can move on to the next thing in my life, instead of reliving that event over and over in my head. Cause really, reliving it doesn't help anyone. Going through it, to the bottom, to the core of the ugly inside me, staring at it, and saying: "Yeah, you're ugly. It's okay. Take my hand. Let's get out of here," then coming out... that helps.


And when the sky weeps and the rain falls upon you, remember Hevring.

Hail Hevring, Undine of Sorrow and Suffering!


Relevant Events This week

Tuesday, June 29, 2010 : Using my suffering in Sport Training


Week 2: Hronn Previous MermaidNext Mermaid Week 4: Duva


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