Thanks, Readers!

Hi, I really want to thank everybody who has been connecting my blog to Facebook and Twitter. With the amount of media that has saturated the nation to have my writing actually be put into the vast ocean of social networking is very flattering and I am very grateful. I personally don’t have the energy to be involved with social networking and I prefer to talk to people where there is already the assumption that we are both human beings and unfortunately on the Internet that is not often the case. I know that I don’t follow very many blogs and even those that I follow I have trouble keeping up with. The constant medical crises just leave me with very few “spoons” to do more than self-care (although I’ve been having trouble even doing that medically) on top of the work giving options to white supremacy to people in prison, maintaining the State’s only MCS resource, doing disability advocacy and readings that have been maintaining the highest level of accuracy I’ve ever had. Luckily any of that work doesn’t require me being “conscious” so it doesn’t matter how sick I get. Freya can still step into me. In fact it’s probably much easier if I am not even there LOL.


Plus there is a lot of prayer for my values: the freedom of religion that my ancestors created in the swamps of Massachusetts and Rhode Island , the only place in the Western world where you could have whatever religion you chose . There’s also the disturbing nationalistic trends leading to fascism in Eastern Europe paganism but also this country where patriotism is being replaced with nationalism. And that is a very dangerous place to be. Also there’s a lot of prayer about having safe food, because we are losing seeds at an alarming rate. I remember in 1987 learning that there was a nuclear bomb shelter inside a mountain in Sweden where they were keeping every kind of seed they could find and I wonder if that is still happening. Because when you are in love with the world things like seeds are the most beautiful mystery and sacred power I can imagine. No wonder the sacred mysteries in  Greece for 4000 years were about the seeds. Also my own really strong need to be outside which has not happened in over a year has led to some interesting developments.

First I just want to tell everyone that when studying to do so many handouts that average 60 pages of very small font about different pagan paths I found so many beautiful things that I respect and love whatever your choice is. Truth against the World (the corrupted man-made human control world) is one of the most inspiring things I’ve read in a long time. The Greek mysteries with all the different cults were really inspiring as well as my look into Egypt. Kemetic orthodoxy or polytheism, it was quite beautiful and fascinating. Maat is a truly ambitious goal. I really wish that there were a lot more modern Hellenistic pagans writing because there was very little I can actually send unless it was from translated Greek websites. Yoruba definitely had the writing that made me fall in love with the universe all over again. It was very close to the feeling I had growing up where instead of God the connection was with Brahman and my Atman. Reading about all of these ancient traditions more in-depth was really validating about how important the mystical experience is for polytheism. I would argue it’s incredibly important for any religion so you experience it in your body and your heart not just your brain.


Because of being trapped inside without any visitors – which I know I am very lucky to have as a person with MCS in the United States – and being primarily what I might call Vanatru I have felt the need to connect with the indigenous land spirits here. I may not be able to go outside but I still welcome any benevolent land spirits into my home for the winter. I may not be able to have any dried herbs or cut flowers but the spirit is there. I feel it’s only respectful to know them by the names that they are most used to . The same way that I find it important to know what are the actual names of the places I live. Of course any work like that has to be balanced with political alliances with the native people who are still facing genocide. I did that in New York State with the Lenape nation, asking permission before even messing with the land there. Checking if there are places I should not go because they are sacred to someone else and I don’t have the cultural understanding of why. There are always offerings to the ancestors of place who are the Abenaki. The Wabenaki Federation is involved with many of the same environmental justice concerns that naturally matters great deal to me. The poorest people are the ones who are given the most toxic land. Whether it’s a brown space in the projects or dumping toxic waste on the reservation. Indigenous people have a very high rate of MCS.


I’m really lucky for my friends like Michelle, Armstrong , Keith , Paul, Raven, Lealia and also my mother ! I don’t know how hard it must be to hear me struggling with doctors and treatment plans or to hear me rambling with fevers. But that they can speaks volumes to their own inner stability and courage. Also the woman in charge of the Medicaid program that basically make sure I doesn’t die Michelle Brennan is one of the kindest people I’ve ever met. That’s one of the reasons why the program works. When you have a chronic illness or are disabled it is a full-time job and it’s really hard to juggle everything especially if you are passing out a lot like I am. Most social workers are antisocial and it’s scary to contact them. They don’t seem to understand that they’re working with sick people. Michelle is the only person I’ve ever dealt with in any social service position who actually understands that I am sick. I personally worked in that field a little bit and almost did get my MSW but I knew that it was the fast track to hating human beings. And when I do talk to antisocial service workers and let them know that I share some of the same background that’s when they tell me how much they really do hate human beings . They hate the government as well. Their job is to just tell people that they can’t help them and it’s not their fault it’s the government. Like my mother counseling police officers who realize that they’ve lost their humanity the same thing happens with social workers. I’m at the point in my life where at age 45 I’m tired of making excuses for why other people treat others horribly. Or putting up with people who say they are something that they’re not for wasting anytime on anyone who isn’t really doing anything but still has a loud opinion. At this point if I don’t consider them my equal there’s no reason for dialogue. Those of us who are really busy doing things to make the world a better place – at least for me I’m finally where I’m very tired of making excuses for people who don’t but talk about it a lot loudly. That’s been a really big change for me. Too much of my life went into understanding everyone’s point of view but my own and that is not a good survival skill unless you are in really abusive relationships. Like being held hostage.


I’m still amazed at how afraid people are to speak out especially if they’re disabled, the fear that they have of somehow losing their $700 a month if they take action or even speak about their stories. Freedom of speech really is invisible privilege I’m realizing more and more. That it is mandatory for an athlete to stand for the national anthem or he will get death threats goes against everything in the Constitution. I have been feeling more and more over the last year and 1/2 that we are living in the Soviet Union and I expect breadlines at any moment. Last night I dreamt a nuclear bomb went off in upstate New York. Before ISIS formed I had constant dreams of being guided to violence was going to happen except I couldn’t tell what the nations were because everybody looks very different – also a lot of it took place in ghettos where the people were not even part of the nation necessarily or its dominant culture. I did see people laying out prayer rugs and a storefront. None of this is anti-Muslim in fact if anything it showed me that it was a very wide range space not one specific group or area. At one point I thought it was former Soviet Muslim states and then I thought Indonesia and then European cities and it was just a handful of individuals not the entire community at all. Before that I was having nightmares about somebody trying to dismantle or set off – I couldn’t figure out which – an old nuclear bomb in Ukraine but the control for it was in Russia. There are a lot of missles everywhere and the people who control them are in Russia. Later and then started in the Ukraine. I never learned what happened to all of those missiles but my concern has always been about who has the money to make sure that nuclear waste and missiles are not leaking everywhere? So those dreams were only unsettling when things came out in the new.


Last night I dreamt that Donald Trump was president and with the absolute ineptness that is proven ( he has been bankrupt six times) a nuclear bomb went off in upstate New York. Part of me thinks that him becoming president is the natural result of American Wyrd. Imagine foreign affairs where he tries to tell heads of state and other nations “you’re fired!” My half joking serious idea he will just sell the United States China and then claimed he got rid of the national debt. I understand Americans being sick of politicians and Killary is definitely a politician. When we had two polar opposite candidates doing so well – Trump and Bernie Sanders – obviously Americans are tired of politics as usual. What I don’t think people who expected Obama to change things, expected Ocuupy to do anything or expect Trump to do anything have forgotten is that the international economy collapsed in 2008, fracking is a oil junkies spoon wash. To maintain capitalism they have been forced to get a lot more extreme like imprisoning 1% of the American population to live in work camps, one in eight of those people are there for marijuana. I personally prefer to have stoner neighbors then I do have alcoholic ones.


But I also had a beautiful dream where I was going into an anarchist center that was an old building that had been and was still being renovated kind of like ABC no Rio in New York City which was a squat and now it’s a community center involving the same people it was a squat.


As I walked through I heard a woman singing as she was playing guitar and the song was beautiful and it was actually singing freedom into creation. When I saw her she was bald from chemotherapy with a scarf wrapped around her head. When I got to the very back of the building there was only windows and I could see the curve of Alaska in the sky and the entire United States with the Rocky Mountains – everything west of me. I could see some guys with long hair in a band somewhere in the field maybe Colorado and then looking down I saw papier-mâché alligators and snakes that looked somewhat like dragons or lindworms. There was nothing more beautiful.


And in my dreams I have been traveling from the West Coast slowly to the east sometimes with old friends. A very long road trip – it’s often hard to imagine how big the Midwest is and also Oklahoma, Texas and New Mexico which are among the most strange parts of the country I’ve ever driven through. And last night we were in the Great Lakes area somehow between Michigan and Pennsylvania. The dream before that had been  Indiana. I’m not sure what I’m gathering on this drive but I know that everything went wrong as soon as I got out of the truck in Los Angeles to be with a man who had lied considerably during a long-distance relationship. But because there are people from the past in these different cities that I knew one time I feel like I’m picking up pieces of myself and my own history of traveling throughout America. Which is an amazing nation to watch from the seat of a car or the side of a bus window. You can actually spend six hours seeing signs that keep reminding you that you can see the largest prairie dog in the world and that’s basically the only sign for those six hours. That to me is amazing. In one drive across the country you can hit multiple national disasters , trust me I have LOL. the entire way to Los Angeles was nothing but natural disasters and now I’m sure that it was Freya screaming turnback!


I’m taking a break for my health and nobody gives you a medal for that. People recognize you for working your ass off but there’s not a lot of fanfare when you preserve your most important natural resource: your body. This is something I know that a lot of people face, especially the “strong” African-American woman who can’t stop because there’s so much on her plate. Taking a break for your own sanity and also physical health is so important that I wish we were taught from birth especially women who are taught to be caregivers nonstop that the center of your life has to be self-care or you will die. African-Americans in the United States compared to Caucasian Americans have really high blood pressure and unlike Caucasian Americans it usually doesn’t go down when sleeping and that is a medical result of racism.


The battle against Lyme disease bacteria and the babesiosis/malaria parasite has been really difficult and it’s incredibly frightening. Babesiosis was not discovered until recently when they had better microscopes. It’s an epidemic in China. The antimalarial medication is so harsh that the doctors I know almost never prescribe it but with the herbal options that have the most success over the prescription antimalarial medications they are very rare. There’s only one herb that is not an alcohol tincture. These are not herbs I can just go get in the field by my mother. One drop of alcohol even if you heat up the water makes me completely intoxicated. The other herb is wormwood which I used to dry and burn every day when praying for the world every morning between three and six. It really helped for almost 50 days and I felt a lot better during the summer. Then I got really sick.


I haven’t stopped being really sick since then except I just got used to it. I’ve said throughout the entire time I’ve had these diseases including the seven years where no doctor can diagnose them because the test that is used is only 55% accurate and completely out of date , “I’m disintegrating” and I would tell my PCP Dr. D’Amato that I felt like I was dropping like an elevator – one floor at a time. Reading books by people with multiple sclerosis was the closest thing I could relate to. If you know me and you probably do by now I’m incredibly proactive when I get a misdiagnosis and research the hell out of it . So I have a lot of medical information that doesn’t really apply to me anymore if it ever did and having MCS has given me a lot of legal information that I never thought I would ever need. Strange how that works.


So the jumping muscles, the frozen feet , the constant chronic pain that has made it so I haven’t been able to even sit in a chair for almost a year , the menstrual cramps I’ve never had before , the fevers that come and go and make the lights look really strange, losing my voice so often, not being able to write in my medical journal that I’ve eaten , not knowing if it is seven in the morning or seven at night and generally feeling so bad that I gave up my normal MCS detoxification routine because it was far too strenuous.


When I started having hormonal crying , and I can tell what that is, I realized something was really wrong.


About a week ago I went into shock after talking to my specialist because my MCS is so severe nobody knows what medications I can take, how much I should take, went to take them or anything else so I’m in charge.


Telling that to someone who doesn’t know what time it is and cannot stop sobbing for no reason is really not the best thing to do. I’ve never really felt like she understood how severe my MCS is. Luckily somebody who specializes with genetic illnesses was brought in and she doesn’t have any patients yet .


I’ve had DNA testing and because I know the horrific history of the disability civil rights movement in the United States of course it was under a fake name because eugenics is always lurking around the corner. Remember Hitler killed my people first. However the doctor he was so excited about this brand-new toy didn’t really know how to read it because that’s incredibly complicated. We did learn that I was born with genetically compromised detoxification pathways which under normal circumstances meaning if I was born anytime before 100 years ago I wouldn’t have any health problems from it unless I was guzzling vodka. I’ve had mild to moderate MCS my entire life . It made school horrible and it also had a lot to do with my friends were because if you wore pukefirm or used any dry-cleaning I felt terrible around you. I made a timeline of my health problems and they corresponded with workplaces or housing. Every time I’ve ever felt suicidal my boyfriend or husband had fabric softener. It could just be that people who use fabric softener are crazy makers and both of them were probably the most insane people I’ve ever been with but I’m aware that it was more than that. Jobs that I had to quit without knowing why but I just couldn’t go back – all of them were offices that were not ventilated well and I was near photocopy machine and as a journalist I was next to the fashion department who were testing pukefirms. Winterized housing is one of the reasons MCS has skyrocketed since the 1970s . My health is better in the city because in the country people use woodstoves.


But a lot of it was as long as I stayed at home I was okay.


I’m having a lot of problems with understanding my job as the top doctor in charge of absolutely everything. What seems to be the problem I’m guessing is that the herb cat claw which really made me feel so good has steadily been killing bacteria. Wormwood was killing the parasites.


But because of having detoxification issues that were made incredibly worse by an Episcopalian church in Saugerties New York not taking care of the chimney so bricks fell in and the house was filled with carbon monoxide for 16 months NDS I had detectors and yes they kept going off and yes I kept calling the fire department and gas company and vestry but because the house was falling apart so much the draft made it hard to get any readings. This was housing owned by the Bishop of the Episcopal Church based in New York City – he lives in a Manhattan penthouse and he marched with Occupy. The vestry was very late and doing anything to take care of the house so they were painting it while we live there with high VOCs that took almost 2 months to drive because of the humidity. VOC’s are one of the main causes of MCS. The main cause is pesticides in the United States and sick building syndrome in Japan. My body just stopped to get anything out.


Now I have a bunch of dead parasites and bacteria decaying in my body unable to leave. That is what is making me sick right now. One injection of B12 methyl and all of the crying stopped. I had thought that the medications were not working when in reality they were working very well. As those dead microorganisms filled me up my own hormones which have always had trouble getting out of my body built-up as well along with anything else .


I’ve stopped taking anything for the infections for couple days and I’m feeling better but I’m having detoxification symptoms that are almost exactly like I was being poisoned by that of the Episcopal church and Bishop. (I actually was bit by the tick who made me sick on the grounds of another church so I’m going to say stay away from churches.)


This happened before a couple of months ago when I was having the same symptoms as when I was being poisoned. Also right before that I was having the first symptoms from when I was bit.


Now “healing crisis” is a term that is used far too often without people understanding what it is. I’ve had a lot of idiot medical people tell me I was having a healing crisis when I was having a medical crisis. However I can say now that they actually do happen. What it consists of is having your symptoms move from the recent ones to the first ones so you are actually getting deeper and going back to the original causes. I had always had an alarmingly high level of copper – in fact as a child they asked me if I was eating pennies. I of course was indignant. A doctor was able to remove that – 20 years as a vegetarian certainly did not help my health – but now I have the taste of pennies in my mouth all of the time. One way I take the pressure off of my liver with the impaired genetic detoxification pathways is by swishing around sunflower oil organic of course in my mouth for about 20 minutes and then scraping the tongue . Sunflowers planted around Chernobyl draw up the radioactive materials which makes the flowers very toxic but prepares the soil . By doing “oil pulling” you can get a lot of toxic stuff out of your body through your mouth. And yes, it is as gross as it sounds. But after a week you don’t have morning breath because there’s not much left to have come out of your mouth. It’s especially recommended if you have had any dental work done recently . 


 When having toxic exposures my lips tingle and I used to call it my Spidey sense . I’ve always had a terrible sense of smell but my lips can tell me what I’m around and the feeling I have in them and where I have it can tell me what chemical it is. If there was a game show I would do very well except I would pass out. Right now my lips are totally numb on the inside of my mouth because of all of the chemicals that are leaving . 


 One and 1/2 years ago the hospital destroyed my veins making blood work really hard. A chemical they used to wipe my arm which normally makes me very sick because any chemical on  my skin go straight into my body obviously which is why I have two chlorine filters on my shower actually got into the hole that they had made straight into my blood flow. For at least 12 hours I was having horrible exposures to my own sweat and tears which burned my skin. I was just in the shower with my mother helping me to scrub while I sobbed in pain . I would try off and put on clothing and it would get my sweat on it and we would have to throw it out . Considering that the only organic safe clothing for me every item is like $100 that was really devastating . ( Right now there are no organic underwear companies that are making anything safe enough for me and my size so I literally have nowhere to buy underwear and there is only one pair of pants that are safe enough for me and those are fleece so there’s nothing I can wear if it’s not freezing cold. But I just want you to imagine what it would be like if you could not buy underwear – before they were $26 a pair . I’ve been far too sick to use my sewing machine but underwear isn’t really the kind of thing that I have any idea how to make. Especially if you use menstrual pads. 


So things have been really really bad with my health for a long time – I mean they always have been bad since eight years ago when I was bit and also been pretty bad since I started school and was brought into the world chemicals but it’s been a lot worse and it’s really scary.


I understand that no doctor can tell me what will happen if I take anything . We don’t know how long it takes for something to leave my body. The medications I suspect are building up inside of me as well so even though I’m taking 1/32 of a capsule (that is how low my doses have to be) within a week it’s built up inside of me so it’s like I’ve already had two capsules that aren’t leaving the body.


I thought the medications were not working and so I was having really bad flares but now I think that I’m dealing with the medications working and I can’t get the stuff out of my body. Detoxification in general is really hard if you have MCS because you might be able to do phase 1 and get things out of your cells, but they just run around oxidizing. Phase 2 where I have a lot of trouble is when they leave you. Getting them to leave is really difficult.


Babesiosis is fatal and it will only get worse and worse so I have already talked to my doctors about the suicide pill. Considering that I can’t even go into a hospital without passing out because of all the chemicals the idea of doing a blood transfusion to get the parasites out which some people have to do with babesiosis is impossible. One hope I have is that since babesiosis is rather new and it is causing epidemics in the world that somebody will actually find a better treatment than antimalarial medications. Babesiosis was always thought to be malaria and the symptoms are very similar except I’m not yellow . It has a lot to do with your heart and it’s why I’m out of breath when I get out of my bed and my heart races . It’s why I have “air hunger” where there is no feeling of actually getting any air and I think my rib cage has frozen and it induces panic. It’s why I have all the malaria symptoms as well like meeting the heat to be really high and basically being naked except for underwear and socks all of the time so I can pile pillows all over myself and then throw them off as my internal sense of temperature changes. My feet might be blocks of ice as my head is sweating.


Lyme disease changes you psychologically – almost everybody has depression, anxiety and for some reason PTSD symptoms. However it can develop into any psychiatric illness” because the bacteria can mimic absolutely any illness that is out there. Babesiosis makes that much more severe and you can have absolutely 100% personality changes – that is what scares me the most is what I don’t want to live with. Also my brain has been what has kept me alive , I’ve never been able to rely on anyone else to know what they’re doing and if the babesiosis keeps taking that away from me I will have to die. It’s quality-of-life.


Lyme disease I always assume everyone knows about because where I live it’s an epidemic . Vermont is the number one state. It wasn’t until I was talking to Jeremy Hammond on the phone and he asked me how I was doing and said something about not knowing much about Lyme disease and there was a plus. I said “I’m not going to die” at the same time that he asked ” is there a cure?” For a so-called terrorist he tells me that MCS sounds worse than prison. Anyway for those of you who don’t know the big problem with Lyme disease is that it mimics every other illness. The bacteria changes shape and it causes infections throughout your entire body so your symptoms are constantly changing. It can make you look like a hypochondriac especially when they have the psychological manifestations which everyone gets. The brain fog people talk about with fibromyalgia or chronic fatigue syndrome is much worse. I gave my mother power of attorney because I no longer could deal with trying to even talk to a pharmacy. You might be vomiting one day and then just feel like you have the flu for a month , I have chronic neck pain because it’s become meningitis. People I know who already had asthma have had really bad lung problems, some people need to have surgery to remove organs and there’s no way of course I could ever be put under without not coming back. A lot of the time it manifests in pain in your joints – it’s misdiagnosed as fibromyalgia constantly. But just imagine having a really bad flu along with the feeling that someone has beaten you with a baseball bat and that you are somehow Rufied with chronic insomnia . Maybe have your eyes be blurry . Throw in migraines.


I haven’t had seizures in a long time and I think that’s because of not having exposure to pukefirm because I don’t ever leave the room and also the reactive hypoglycemia that is so common especially because of the liver problems seems to be better but at the same time I have timers that go every four hours telling me to eat something .


My life actually revolves around timers with different ringtones telling me to eat or to take medications and some of them are medicated and some of them are injections and other ones are in little boxes except my fingers shakes so much I can’t really get them out and I am constantly finding my morphine under my pillow so no wonder I’m in pain all the time.


Morphine was a hard decision because I swear when I was 18 I would never go near opiates. But it was such help. Right now thanks to the heroin epidemic almost no doctor will prescribe pain medication. (If you think that living in the middle of nowhere in wholesome new England will get you away from crystal meth and heroin you are totally miseducated.) However a paramedic friend and my doctor finally explained to me that when you have pain substance P floods system and it takes a long time for it to stop even if you take morphine . So I can’t just go around taking it when I feel pain because that doesn’t prevent it from starting. Making sure it doesn’t start is the key. I am blackballed from the entire medical community in the Northeast Kingdom of Vermont because of taking prescribed opiates, ones that actually the doctor I saw their continued to prescribe and when she had a nervous breakdown and left just the nurse in charge decided I was a drug addict even though that nurse had no doctor about her and it was illegal and my doctors in New York City wanted me to sue for malpractice because she just told me to go to the emergency room which is also an abuse of the emergency room. But it’s also malpractice to just refuse to even wean somebody off opiates , to just stop them, and it’s also malpractice to have a nurse practitioner running a clinic without a position about her. However the billing management company that owns every practice in the entire Northeast Kingdom except one has a lot of lawyers and I’m really really sick. It’s another reason why am treated like shit at the local hospital but northern Vermont regional hospital is very poorly rated – when my mother broke her spine and arm they missed half of the broken bones with their x-rays. Anyway when substance P goes up serotonin and dopamine go way down and even though there’s no study that is ever shown a connection between those bodies chemicals and mental health I will say that emotionally I feel a lot better with the morphine although that could be because I’m not in screaming pain literally. I think because of having ADHD it makes me hyper so I don’t get whatever that high is other people get. My PCP trust me because she’s known me and also I guess it helps that I brought in hundreds of Vicodin and oxycodone that made me really sick because I can’t take acetaminophen .


She said it was really good I brought them to her because the police department was just arrested for selling the prescription drugs that people were bringing in.


Anyway I figure if I live opiate withdrawal ain’t no big thing. Not like beating the odds with these illnesses .


I’m really grateful that I did start reaching out to people in prison because I have a new really good friend and I realize that she’s been paying a lot of money to stay in contact with me because the email in federal prison is the most expensive in the nation and she makes $0.70 an hour and I don’t think people know but in prison you have to even pay to go do laundry. She doesn’t get snacks, reading glasses, notebooks, tampons, shampoo, toothbrush or anything like that without paying for it and the mark up is 35%. She pays six dollars so we can VideoTalk for 25 minutes and she has a lot of seizures so she misses work but she has to work 10 hours a day, otherwise she would just have five dollars a month. That would be her disability pay. One thing I’ve noticed is that people in prison will not tell me how expensive it is to be in prison and they constantly say to not send any money. They are so afraid of losing contact with people because they don’t have anyone and they really don’t want people on the outside to think that they’re trying to scam them. 


 What she doesn’t understand is that with me basically living like I’m under house arrest with no visitors and being so incredibly ill those video visits are at least as beneficial for me as they are for her . And that’s really sad. I mean it’s sad that she doesn’t know that she’s important . She’s had hand surgery and she works telemarketing so she’s not sure how she’s going to pay for anything. the guards pepper sprayed the entire room with no ventilation with 20 women in it because of one woman’s behavior and left them all there for two hours and she had two strokes from the pepper spray so she’s disabled because of prison brutality. Although people in prison don’t say these kind of things – I’m the one who says them and they just nod very slightly. I want to pay for some of our visits but she’s not making it very easy for me to figure out how. 


Soon it will be my one year anniversary of blood dedication to Freya and then after that my marriage to Papa Simbi. He is not a God spouse, but it was something he wanted me to do for a long time because he is in charge of my healing and said that if we were related then he could call on the rest of his family to help me. There was no mambo or anything like that but just me saying yes finally. It didn’t change our relationship because he’s so shy.


Meanwhile Freya has been able to just take over my body no matter how sick I get now. Anything she wants me to know she will tell me and then she will throw some article at me . I don’t even have to look for anything. I was intimidated by year ago when she said she wanted a book of writing about her family but it’s pretty easy when she just starts talking and I just have to start dictating on the machines. And then the books and articles show up and say that she’s right. One thing that we are learning about right now is how she is one of the few proto-Indo-European goddesses that we can trace all over the place as prija.


So on one level, Waincraft got some things really right. Not that Waincraft isn’t already right, it’s just right for what she is telling me . I understand how Vanatru developed into that. 


Odin she told me was found in the forests of Germania. He is indigenous to that area . He didn’t come from the Indo-European homeland. Tyr, Tuisto, Mannus, Frigga, Freya, Thor and Loki’s children Hela and the world serpent are the only ones that for sure I know are proto-Indo-European related. To understand Loki better and all of his children, Slavic Veles has greatly helped and also Ingvi FreyR has me add Jarillo to him name to deepen my understanding. She’s always been very consistent about the importance of the whole Eastern European and Baltic area as far as understanding Vanatru . Pre-Slavic, vert first Indo-European settlers with first wheels ever. Now some specific Slavic parts.


The other part is studying her from her beginnings linguistically as a proto-Indo-European goddess. No wonder she has so many “sides” to her! She really has been everywhere and everything. It’s hard to do any sort of genealogy because a lot of gods and goddesses were once her or another god or goddess. It seems like some of them kind of do like amoebas and just split in half and then they become separate developing with people in the landscape. Meanwhile others seem to come out of the land although she might have come out of the land in the Indo-European home. When she talks about cousins it is interesting to try to understand what she means.


She also has loaned me out to Loki to speak to one of his wives and that is really great because he is awesome to be with! He is so funny and also I’ve never seen any god or goddess more dedicated to humanity. The amount of love and protection he extends his outstanding . His total devotion to Odin in being the fall guy for all of the things that have to happen is unbelievable to me. I would never do it. But Freya says she never would either. Taking her necklace from her was not something he should’ve done – and it was Odin who gave the order and it was Loki who was the fall guy following Odin’s order. So she’s been explaining some things about how that is all set up. Although she’s really not that interested in anything Norse because she just says that’s where she ended up staying a goddess but now that she can be a goddess anywhere else she’s quite happy to sever her ties with the Aesir. “They don’t own me.”


And the spirit work stuff is scary accurate. I don’t know how she manages to do it for Loki either with my body when I’m completely useless otherwise but she had been saying some things for quite a while about making me hollow and also she used the word horse so if this is possession it’s not really all that hard. The SeidR magic lessons she’s actually been using what I’ve learned about computer hacking to explain how it works in some ways. But because Simbi is in charge of computers I will wait until I write about him and show off what I gave to my husband as a present. All of the prophecy part or talking to the dead I already knew how to do so Freya says having a staff is stupid and I wouldn’t be able to sit in a chair anyway. Since I don’t live in a culture that uses a spindle the staff doesn’t really have any special meaning to me unless I give it one so tools are never necessary.


However it is a lot easier to do any sort of magic that involves a god or goddess (the only way I will do it) by holding the beaded Shrines – I am really amazed that how much they carry of the actual god or goddess in them . It’s a lot like the statues in Hinduism but I never really felt that at the temples.


Anyway thank you for reading and passing things along . I figured people should know what’s going on behind the blog post – I am a human being🙂


Any weird mistakes with the dictation – I am sorry but my Kindle is totally dying. It probably left out some crucial words – a lot of the time it leaves out “not” which completely reverses what I was trying to say LOL so thank you for piecing it together.


Praise from Prison for book Candles in the Cave

Out of the 900 pages of Pagan related handouts (written by top writers in their traditions) and Starhawk’s Spiral Dance I’ve sent to Dublin Women’s Prison the most appreciated has been Asphodel Press’s Candles in the Cave by Raven Kaldera and other Northern Tradition Pagans! Maybe because it is 400 pages especially written with incarcerated Pagans in mind it’s the clear winner, even though the Circle had previously focused on Wicca with some Celtic influence and are just learning about polytheism. I personally think it is the best introduction to Northern Tradition Paganism. The book cost only eight dollars plus shipping if mailed directly to somebody in prison. People in prison can receive the book if they send $10 worth of stamps. I share this in case you are wondering what would be the best resource for Pagans in person – Pagans in prison can answer that better than anyone else. These people already had 10 books on Paganism before I showed up, including Raven Silverwolf. But none of the writers have been in prison or are currently in prison – and that’s a big difference because Candles in the Cave sought out incarcerated Pagans for their input.


“I finally received that Candles in the Cave book. Wow is it amazing. I have already shared it with the ladies that live in my unit. I will be taking it out for Samhain and sharing some stuff out of the book. I am reading everything slowly and taking my time so it really sinks in. Thank you so much for the book. I love learning!” – organiser of the Circle, Jesse Wedekind


I’m actually jealous because the ancestor ritual in the book is really beautiful. With there being such a lack of mythology books in prison it’s hard for people to know who to worship. Where can they start making relationships? Luckily the ancestors do not need a book. I made a nine page handout of different Pagans from so many different traditions about why ancestor honoring is so important and what some of the common problems are. As somebody who had a shrine for over a decade before she actually had powerful or honestly any real relationship with her ancestors for many of the reasons that it’s hard for a lot of us I can say that the time invested is well worth it.

Label-Induced Identity, and, How to Write About People with Disabilities


photo: 1970s Activists who use wheelchairs barricade buses that are not wheelchair accessible, part of the largely ignored Disability Rights history. Heather calls it “Back of the bus? We can’t get on the bus.” as the Civil Rights movement inspired many of the tactics, because oppression is oppression. Credit unknown.

Heather’s Story

From the University of Kansas comes a guide for writers when writing about persons with disabilities. It’s not very long and can be downloaded as a PDF. For those who want to be considered journalists, it’s essential, but the same goes for everyone. This part provides a partial glossary. Those who might complain about “political correctness” are not the people who are living with disabilities. As the largest minority in the United States we have a great say in what we choose to be called. Today very few bloggers would use the term “n*****” unless they are flat out racist assholes. This is a similar sort of respect.

However I myself know how confusing it is to keep up with what are the correct words. Not just with my own community of people living with disabilities where there are so many different disabilities it’s hard to know what everybody prefers outside of your own little community and even then there is some discord, but also with friends who are transgendered, non-binary or asexual. A lot of it has to do with how much a “label” is part of someone’s positive self identification and how much it is a negative societal limitation.

 Personally I feel it’s important to keep track of what communities preferred to be called. One of the best ways I’ve learned to do that is to actually just ask people. You may notice that I don’t use the term “inmates” for people who are in prison. That is because they are people first. The word prisoner as well would make prison their entire identity, which flat out is not true. However when I asked a friend in prison who studies the history of prisons and the police what term people like to be called he said “convicts” because they have been convicted of something. It doesn’t mean that they were guilty or innocent, but that a decision was made by someone else. Saying I was convicted of something is not the same as saying you actually did something. I’m not sure if the general public would understand the actual legal distinction there but it gave me another reason to think more clearly about language.

 Years ago when a friend told me that a mutual friend with whom I have lost touch was no longer Jeff but was Jess, my mind went back to the time I spent with Jeff. He was depressed but then again he was a cartoonist in Seattle and that is almost mandatory. Mostly he seemed tired, but working on your own comic books all day and then coloring other peoples at night will do that to you. (Looking back at when I convinced him to let me color a page myself without any training with the computers so he could sleep on the floor a bit I now understand was mutually beneficial.) Jess meanwhile was wild! Sex and drugs and parties filled her life until rehab. Speaking with her later I asked, “What gender do you feel like and how do you know?” Jess wrote back “I’m not either. I could talk your ear off at a bar about it but in reality I’m neither and I’m both.” That was my first transgendered friend and the more that I have had the more diversity is in the answer. (The reason for my question was I didn’t know what being female felt like. I am female from birth sex and gender, so I took for granted femaleness. I still don’t know what it’s like to know that you feel female but I do know that it is tormenting on every level when your body looks male and you are a woman. When a close friend told me she was a demi-ace, I began to learn about challenges to the idea that there is even more discrimination than I thought involving proper sexual desire. As a woman you can be labeled on either end as frigid or nymphomaniac, again words that obscure the person.)

 So trust me, I know that it is time-consuming to figure out what are the proper terms to use when describing people but it is important for their well-being and also if you want to have a greater understanding of the human condition which I think many of us do. There is also a lot of self-knowledge that comes from understanding other people’s identity struggles. Obviously it also makes you a much better ally for any group of people and if you truly want the organizations to which you belong to not be exclusive then knowing the language is vitally important.

(In the Empowerment Manual by Starhawk she talks about how intimidating it can be for people new to the community because they fear using the wrong words. She rightly suggests taking them aside later and without shaming or blaming – because how would they know? – what the correct language is. Because none of us can keep up with everything. Someone unknowingly using a derogatory term who is showing interest in the actual oppression of the people in that community are going to stick around a lot longer if they do not feel scared that they will be called out for lack of knowledge. Raven Kaldera allowed me to post his “Calling Out versus Calling In” which I think would help every new especially young activist because in the beginning it is so easy to decide who is us and who is them and then to work from hate not love and if you are going to last in the game on the front lines you need a different model to sustain you because there actually very few people who really are “them” that are the cause of our problems. All of our problems. My first experience with the Internet “community” in 1994 was as bad as all of the following ones: It was an online group of young women discussing feminism and one brave woman told the story of being raped by three men, which is 1/3 of how rape takes place, a group of men preying on one woman. She described them as one surfer type, a jock from her college and a mulatto. Telling the truth is terrifying especially about rape. One woman derailed and attacked her for using the word mulatto.  Race is an important issue but that was not time to attempt to educate women especially when education came in the form of an attack when she was at her most vulnerable. She immediately left the group not knowing that the vast majority of women immediately said that it was not the time to have focused on her using a word she didn’t know was offensive in describing a rapist. How that impacted that woman’s level of trust afterwards I will never know but that’s when I learned that the Internet was the worst place to go for support.)

 Back to disabilities: Some people do embrace a medical description ( that is all any mental health or other kind of “disorder” really is, a description of characteristics or symptoms and nothing more ) that they find to actually be positive features about themselves. One might be somebody who proudly says “I am autistic.” That decision is left to the individual. When in doubt always use a neutral term following the word “person” or “community.” I personally cannot imagine not having ADHD and feel very grateful that my brain is wired in such a way that I can connect very diverse things in creative ways and find that the derogatory term “hyperfocus” is often very similar to the positive term “flow consciousness.”

When I started having seizures from exposure to synthetic fragrance I didn’t know if that meant I was supposed to say I had epilepsy. Today I’m actually still not sure! Being new to a community I’ve had to ask others who have replied about themselves “I have seizures.” With the wide range of misdiagnoses I have had doctors and the communities of others with the same diagnoses have explained to me each time if I’m lucky with the doctor that there is a medical model which is insulting and a independent living model that treats me like a human being. One thing I personally found helpful after being on the merry-go-round of misdiagnoses for a decade was to say “I have been diagnosed with XYZ.” When that changes I’ll let you know. (I actually would say that last part to friends.) With the discovery of Lyme disease and babesiosis/malaria I am no longer diagnosed with having cerebral palsy.

The amount of time and money I’ve spent on educating myself on every misdiagnosis has given me a strange perspective on identity based on how people treated me which was internalized. The brand-new form of “bipolar disorder” rapid cycling which did not exist until the manufacturing of antidepressants gave me no instructions other than to “take medication, don’t kill yourself.” I got to be creative with medical approval. Although not too creative.

As those medications never helped but made everything worse and finally a doctor realized I had never been actually tested for anything but it was a decision made based on a response to Zoloft, an antidepressant that is well known as stimulating suicidal urges in young people when the drug was new and doctors did not know that it stimulated suicidal and homicidal urges in young people whose brain chemistry is all over the place, my new label posttraumatic stress disorder and ADHD changed my identity. PTSD meant that I was supposed to feel horrible and work endlessly doing things that made me feel even worse until somebody discovered DBT which led to ACT that said basically people are how they are and if you spend all of your time and money seeking permanent happiness you will never live a life. Since my goal was to live a life as opposed to wait for decades until I was “healthy” and could be with all those mysteriously missing “healthy” people in the world, thinking that was backed up by abusive, consumerist New Age propaganda, learning skills that allowed me to have a life that I chose as opposed to my past experiences or wiring (there is no study that has ever shown there is any biochemical connection to any “mental illness” thus making pharmaceutical psychiatric medication dangerously obsolete for the long-term especially) was a much better option – one that considerably help when faced with the immense stress of being homeless, persecuted, abandoned and newly diagnosed with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity.

 Going from “fibromyalgia” and “chronic fatigue syndrome” to Lyme disease and babesiosis has been another giant identity change because now because of the problem is actually medically known, something that I have never been able to say before. (We have no idea what really is the physiological cause of ADHD or PTSD for example.) Now I am someone fighting parasites and bacteria. I’ve never had a diagnosis where it was something external I have to kill. And that is a major learning curve after spending decades trying to “manage” disorders.

 So I personally understand how difficult it is to know what to say if talking about someone with a disability because I had no idea how to describe myself much of the time and I also personally understand how devastating the wrong language is. I was literally just talking to my mother about how as other people tend to have lives that just reinforce their identity that they’ve had at least from college along with their beliefs about how the world works, the constant shifting of identity based on misdiagnosis and the way I was treated didn’t allow me that luxury. And I’m grateful. Because I know whatever is true to me today will not be true later so it’s easier to have empathy for different people with different labels because I know that the label could change at any minute. I wish you all the same but preferably without having the same challenges that led me to that understanding. Whatever the label the only thing you know for sure is that you are dealing with a human being. And that makes them “one of you.”

PS As I become sicker and my Kindle becomes older, the dictation grows crappier. Brain fog, disease caused dyslexia and severe fatigue makes it something of a luxury when it comes to rereading and trying to edit. I hope you are capable of filling in any gaps left from the dictation or making out what the correct word should be from context. If you cannot please ask somebody who can. I know that if you have trouble with reading comprehension like some of my family members who are brilliant this could be a barrier so I’m sorry. Quick personal opinion: I don’t believe that reading or mathematics are natural for humans since the evolutionary timeframe they are very recent skills so I don’t really consider problems with them learning disabilities. The problem is a culture that demands homogenized, mediocre, cookie-cutter conformity which eliminates genius in much of formal education. There’s nothing wrong with your brain, you are just in a society that expects the unrealistic.

Your Words, Our Image

Writers, editors, reporters and other communicators strive to use the most accurate terminology about people with disabilities. However, inaccurate, archaic and offensive expressions are still commonly used, perpetuating negative stereotypes and beliefs about people with disabilities.

For example, a person who uses a wheelchair – an objective fact – is often described as wheelchair-bound, a subjective description that implies victim hood.

As one wheelchair user puts it, “I personally am not ‘bound’ by my wheelchair. It is a very liberating device that allows me to work, play, maintain a household, connect with family and friends, and ‘have a life.’ ”

The medical model is an attitude and practice that regards disability as a defect or sickness that must be cured or normalized through medical intervention. People in the disability community prefer the social or independent living model which regards disability as a neutral difference between people – and acknowledges that people with disabilities can be healthy. In the social model, problems related to disability are caused by the interaction between the individual and the environment rather than the individual’s disability itself. These problems can be remedied by changing social attitudes, physical environments, public policies, and other barriers to full participation.


Person-First Language:
A Partial Glossary of Disability Terms

We know that language shapes perceptions, so a small word choice can make a big difference in communicating attitudes towards people with disabilities and assumptions about the quality of their lives.

Person- first language literally puts the person first instead of his or her disability. By referring to an individual as a person with a disability instead of a disabled person, you are providing an objective description instead of a label. While opinions differ on some words, this list offers preferred terms for many visible and invisible disabilities, illustrated with person-first language.

AD/HD (Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder) is the clinical diagnosis for a genetic neurobehavioral condition that is characterized by symptoms in three categories: inattention, excessive activity and impulsive behavior. While the medical community includes ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) as a subset of this condition, disability advocates consider the two conditions as distinctly different. A person who has ADD has difficulty focusing attention and a high level of distractibility, but does not experience hyperactivity or impulsive behavior. Say person with ADHD or student with ADD. Do not use hyper or lazy.

Autism spectrum disorders (ASD) refers to a group of complex disorders of brain development that may cause difficulty with social interactions, problems with verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. In terms of symptoms, Asperger’s syndrome is on the milder end of the spectrum. People with an ASD can have severe limitations in one area with no limitations in others. Use child with autism or Asperger’s syndrome or person on the spectrum.Do not say autistic. (See also “A Few Exceptions.”)

Blind describes a condition in which a person has loss of sight for ordinary life purposes. A person is legally blind when vision with best correction is no better than 20/200. Low vision and vision loss are generic terms for vision loss caused by macular degeneration and other conditions. Low visionusually denotes someone who is legally blind, but can still see large print, bright colors, light and shadow and large shapes, while vision loss refers to those who have lost vision after birth. Say boy who is blind, girl who has low vision or man who is legally blind. (You may ask which term best suits the person.) Some blind people consider themselves visual thinkers so they regard visually impaired and visually challenged as negative terms.

Brain injury or traumatic brain injury (TBI) describes a condition where there is long-term or temporary disruption in brain function resulting from injury to the brain. Difficulties with cognitive (thinking remembering, learning), physical, emotional and/or social functioning may occur. Use person with a brain injury or employee with a traumatic brain injury. Do not say brain damaged.

Chemical and/or electrical sensitivities describe chronic medical conditions characterized by neurological impairment, muscle pain and weakness, respiratory problems and gastrointestinal complaints. Reactions for those with chemical sensitivities are triggered by low-level exposure to everyday substances and products including pesticides, solvents, cleaning agents, new carpeting and adhesives, and fragrances and scented products. Electrical sensitivities are triggered by electromagnetic fields from electrical devices and frequencies. These conditions are also called toxicant-induced loss of tolerance, environmental illness or sick building syndrome. Use person with chemical intolerance orpeople with environmental illness. People with this condition should not be called chemophobic or described with the termidiopathic environmental intolerance.

Chronic fatigue syndrome refers to a chronic condition in which individuals experience six or more months of fatigue accompanied by physical and cognitive symptoms. Chronic fatigue, immune dysfunction syndrome and myalgic encephalomyelitis are currently preferred. Do not say Yuppie Flu. Also, don’t confuse this syndrome with overlapping or similar conditions such as Epstein-Barr virus syndrome andfibromyalgia.

Cleft palate or lip describes a specific congenital disability involving the lip and gum. Say person who has a cleft palate. The term hare lip is anatomically incorrect and stigmatizing.

Congenital disability describes a disability that has existed since birth but is not necessarily hereditary. Use person with a congenital disability or disability since birth. Do not saybirth defect or deformity.

Deaf refers to a profound degree of hearing loss that prevents understanding speech through the ear. Hearing impaired orhearing loss are generic terms used by some individuals to indicate any degree of hearing loss, from mild to profound, although some dislike the negative term impaired. Hard of hearing refers to a mild to moderate hearing loss that may or may not be corrected with amplification. A person who has hearing difficulties may have speech difficulties, too, but deafness does not affect mental abilities. Say woman who is deaf or boy who is hard of hearing. People who have some degree of both hearing and vision loss prefer the term deaf-blind. Also acceptable is person with combined vision and hearing loss or dual sensory loss. Never use deaf and dumb. (See also “A Few Exceptions.”)

Developmental disability is a broad term that describes any physical and/or mental disability that starts before the age of 22. Examples include cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorders and sensory impairments. People with developmental disabilities have a wide range of functioning levels and disabilities. Although the term intellectual disabilityis often used in conjunction with developmental disability, many people with a developmental disability do not have an intellectual disability. Say she has cerebral palsy, he has autism or he has a developmental disability. Do not say she is mentally retarded.

Disability is a general term used for an attribute or a functional limitation that interferes with a person’s ability, for example, to walk, lift or learn. It may refer to a physical, sensory or mental condition such as depression, irritable bowel syndrome, Lyme disease, post-traumatic stress syndrome, diabetes, multiple sclerosis and other conditions that restrict the activities of daily living. Do not use the termhandicapped because many people with disabilities consider it offensive.
We recognize the need for succinctness, but when possible, avoid using the disabled as a generic label. It describes a condition, not people, and has connotations of “non-functioning” (as in a disabled car). It also implies a homogenous group that is separate from the rest of society. Instead use people with disabilities or the disability community.

Disfigurement refers to physical changes caused by burns, trauma, disease or congenital conditions. Do not say burn victim. Say burn survivor or child who has burns.

Down syndrome describes a chromosomal disorder that causes a delay in physical, intellectual and language development. Sayperson with Down syndrome. Do not use Mongol, mongoloid or Down person.

HIV/AIDS is a disease of the immune system. Over time, HIV (human immunodeficiency virus) can weaken the immune system to a point where the body becomes susceptible to certain illnesses that healthy immune systems resist. People with HIV are diagnosed with AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) when one or more specific conditions are met. Use person living with HIV or people who have AIDS. Do not use AIDS victim.

Intellectual disability refers to limitations in intellectual functioning and adaptive behaviors that require environmental or personal supports for the individual to live independently. Though mental retardation was previously an accepted clinical term, many consider it an insult, so people who have this condition, their families and related organizations have campaigned to end its use. (See “Rosa’s Law and the Language of Bullying.”) Say people with intellectual disabilities. Do not use retarded, mentally retarded or subnormal.

Learning disability describes a neurologically based condition that may manifest itself as difficulty learning and using skills in reading (called dyslexia), writing (dysgraphia), mathematics (dyscalculia) and other cognitive processes due to differences in how the brain processes information. Individuals with learning disabilities have average or above average intelligence, and the term does not include a learning problem that is primarily the result of another cause, such as intellectual disabilities or lack of educational opportunity. Say person with a learning disability. Do not use slow learner orretarded.

Nondisabled is the preferred term when the context calls for a comparison between people with and without disabilities. Use nondisabled or people without disabilities instead of healthy, able-bodied, normal or whole.

Post-polio syndrome is a condition that affects some persons who have had poliomyelitis (polio) long after recovery from the disease. It is characterized by new muscle weakness, joint and muscle pain and fatigue. Say person with post-polio syndrome.Do not use polio victim.

Psychiatric disability refers to a variety of psychological conditions. Say person with a psychiatric disability or mental illness. In a clinical context or for medical or legal accuracy, use schizophrenic, psychotic and other diagnostic terms. Note, too, thatbipolar disorder has replaced manic depression. Words such as crazy, maniac, lunatic, schizo andpsycho are offensive and should never be applied to people with mental health conditions.

Seizure describes an involuntary muscle contraction, a brief impairment or loss of consciousness resulting from a neurological condition such as epilepsy or from an acquired brain injury. Say girl with epilepsy or teen with a seizure disorder. The wordconvulsion should be used only for seizures involving contraction of the entire body. Do not use epileptic, fit, spastic or attacks.

Service animal or service dog describes a dog that has been individually trained to do work or perform tasks for people with disabilities. In addition to guiding people who are blind, they may alert people who are deaf, pull wheelchairs, alert and protect a person who is having a seizure, remind a person with mental illness to take prescribed medications, or calm a person with post- traumatic stress disorder during an anxiety attack. Miniature horses are also considered service animals under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), though monkeys no longer are. Do not use seeing eye dog.

Short stature describes a variety of genetic conditions causing people to grow to less than 4’10” tall. Say person of short stature, although some prefer little people. Dwarfism is an accepted medical term, but should not be used as general terminology. Do not refer to these individuals as midgets because of its circus sideshow connotations.

Speech disability is a condition in which a person has limited or impaired speech patterns. Use child who has a speech disability. For a person without verbal speech capability, say person without speech. Do not use mute or dumb.

Spinal cord injury describes a condition in which there has been permanent damage to the spinal cord, resulting in some degree of paralysis. Quadriplegia denotes loss of function in all four extremities, while paraplegia refers to loss of function in the lower part of the body only; in both cases the individual might have some function in the affected limbs. While people with spinal cord injuries often refer to themselves as a para or a quad, communicators should use man with paraplegia, woman who is paralyzed or person with a spinal cord injury. Don’t say cripple or handicapped.

Substance dependence refers to patterns of substance use that result in significant impairment in at least three life areas (family, employment, health, etc.) over any 12-month period. Although such terms as alcoholic and addict are medically acceptable, they may be derogatory to some individuals. Acceptable terms are people who are substance dependentor person who is alcohol dependent. Individuals who have a history of dependence on alcohol and/or drugs and are no longer using alcohol or drugs may identify themselves as recovering or as a person in recovery.

Survivor is used by people to affirm their recovery from or conquest of an adverse health condition such as cancer survivorburn survivor, brain injury survivor or stroke survivor. Don’t call them victims.





Real Journalism 101 – Advice & Action


Having once been a professional journalist at one time with a column in a paper with 5 million readers it’s very depressing that what is written below has to be said.


You might think that journalists would actually talk to the people involved with the story but most of the time we are sent to get the “official” story from the oppressors. I was very lucky that where I worked always focused on talking to the people who actually had a stake in what was happening politically. Seeing it written like this I hope will allow readers to think more about what media sources they believe. It’s also the best advice for any starting journalist. I never went to school for journalism so I don’t know what they teach people but I certainly hope it includes this. However it’s not what you are going to see in mainstream media. Remember that the vast majority of American media is owned by just a few multinational corporations who are not going to report about people being made homeless, sick or otherwise abused by their own different corporations. Mainstream media is the spokesperson for the fabricated truth that is selected by those multinational corporations.


If you want your blog to be journalism follow the Media Co-op guidelines below and go to the people affected first for your 5Ws and H. (Who, what, when, where, why and how.) If you want to be really ahead of the game especially compared to American journalism add the historical context of what led to the event. The most impressive feat I ever saw a journalist undertake was a colleague who decided that people needed to understand that the different wars in Africa were about different things. (Most people tend to lump the large and very diverse continent of Africa into a generic nation). Later the graphics department put together a wonderful map of Africa with a guide to each place where war was currently happening that flowed really well into the following pages where he manage to cover the 5Ws and H, while also providing the colonialist background which really is part of “why.”


 I have met a lot of famous people without ever being impressed  but I was literally in awe of him, loitering near his desk in the very busy room filled with at least a couple hundred desks all with phones constantly ringing, trying to work up the courage to tell him how amazing what he did was. When I did he just shrugged it off. But that was the first time that any of those wars made any sense to me because he went beyond soundbites and headlines and explained to me and all the other readers what led to this. Not just one war, but dozens. That was the most important thing I learned as a journalist:


“Why” may cover hundreds of years and that growing up in the United States robbed me of reading real journalism. 



From the Media Co-op:


The Media Co-op is a coast-to-coast network of local media co-operatives dedicated to providing grassroots, democratic coverage of their communities and of Canada.


“Grassroots” means that for each topic we cover, we talk to the people directly affected by policies or activities first. Once a journalist thoroughly understands the story of those directly affected, she brings their questions to those making the decisions: politicians, corporate executives, and so on.


This approach stems from a certain kind of common sense: if we start by talking to the people who have a vested interest and experience in spinning, framing or outright lying to their own advantage, then we’re not likely to get the real story. This approach also takes the position that what is actually happening on the ground is more important than what influential people are saying about what’s going on.


Own your media, and build grassroots coverage.

Snorri’s mythology affected by Iceland’s large Gaelic population: Reflecting on Sayers paper Irish Perspectives on Heimdallr

It has been interesting looking at all of the different sources that came together to create what Heathenry calls “The Lore.” The pre-Indo-European Old Europeans, the massive Finn lands already established around the tip of Sweden, the intermingled Germanic and Saami communities, the Celtic tribes that overtook Jutland until there was a flood, the Celtic sea faring Veneti coming from the Baltic lands and the Lore’s own words about Freya being known throughout the Baltic lands although in other names.


Interesting? Fascinating. There really is not a leg to stand on when it comes to being folkish. Even before leaving for Iceland and the creation of Germania (I know that is a Roman creation), southern Sweden where perhaps at least 90% of the German tribes appear to have left was already without cultural or ethnic “purity.”


When we read that all of the Irish and Scottish wives along with the slaves and people who went willingly that settled in Iceland with the first Norwegians fleeing from King Harold had absolutely no effect on the culture or mythology for some reason we believe that. I believed that. With the newest DNA knowledge that at least 50% of the female population of Iceland was from Gaelic speaking lands (and that prercentage continues today) that should start to seem very implausible. Even in patriarchal cultures women are the ones who teach the children from the earliest years.


I don’t have any personal reason why I would want to have Heathenry be connected to Celtic polytheism or culture. We already know how the cultures influenced each other – just look at the beautiful knotwork designs. With the Celtic culture having spread over most of Europe all the way to Turkey as the German tribes emerged, obviously there was cultural exchange as one culture who had been the terror of Rome was subjugated and the new one took its place.


There’s no reason why I would need to elaborate on that – except for the fact that Freya wants the history of her tribe of gods and goddesses told and I don’t think she would demand that if Heathenry gave them more prominence especially her father Njord. It wasn’t until a ridiculous blogger under the name of “son of hell” wrote that the Vanir all died in the war aside from the three hostages that I was made aware of how bad the situation was considering that his followers agreed.  In this case Snorri himself came to the rescue with my question “Then who cut off the head of Mimir and where does Hoenor live?” (A good way to ensure such an ancient god will be there at the beginning of the upcoming world, just like sending Baldur and Nanna to Hela’s realm saves them as well.) The way that other tribes of gods and goddesses are written out of Heathenry smacks of both Christian influence (How can there be three tribes? There has to be one that is good and one that is evil from a Christian point of view) along with a knowledge of classical mythology. There are 12 gods? Everybody is somehow the child or grandchild of Odin? Aside from the fading Tyr and the prominent Freya/Frigga none of the rest have names related to the proto-Indo-European pantheon, so Odin is a very modern All Father. A term by the way that is also a name for the Irish god the Dagda. We know the Irish mythology and he is not the literal father of all of the gods and goddesses.


When I read an article (that unfortunately I cannot find which is driving me crazy) that the term Snorri uses for Njord and Frey after the exchange of hostages and they are given such an esteemed position being the priest sacrificers for the ALL Aesir is not the normal one in Old Norse, but instead is Celtic and not seen in any of the other writing, that was a strange sign. Why use a Celtic word for priest when writing of the Vanir Gods? Some say Nerthus/Njord comes from a Germanic root word but that word is never given while other scholars say it comes from a specifically Irish Gaelic word nert, meaning force or power. That was actually more intriguing. Celtic made sense considering the history long before Iceland but to specifically say it is an Irish root word would mean there was an Irish Gaelic speaking culture intermingling with the Germans at least in the first century CE.


Reading William Sayers Irish Perspectives on Heimdallr  did not provide many answers but did reinforce the idea that Heimdall must be a much more powerful God in northern Germania lost in shuffle.


This of course makes perfect sense to me because Freya constantly points out that there is no Scandinavian pantheon. There are many Scandinavian pantheons in different places at different times. When we extend that to Germania the amount of UPG that could be correct becomes incredibly large.


I want to point out that ALL Heathenry is based on UPG. How many times do we read that Gullveig Heid provoked the Aesir into trying to murder her? But when you look at the actual Lore, the few lines given never mentioned something like that. Either Heathenry is doing UPG or just making assumptions and declaring them to be accurate. I would trust peer collaborated UPG far more than human assumptions. So all of those Reconstructionist who are against UPG need to remove any ideas about her necessarily “provoking” a war. Perhaps it was a decision of Odin’s, with his tendency to do whatever it takes to get knowledge from women. That’s not my idea but it is one that I’ve heard. As I have no UPG about the motives of why the Aesir attacked Gullveig and her name does not necessarily translate into “gold lust” but as easily could be “golden intoxication” (or many other things as much is lost in translation), I don’t have an opinion necessarily about the motives of Odin. Also the assumption that she must be Freya even though that also has no Lore connection must be taken as mainstream Heathenry UPG. Freya did not leave after the war; she voluntarily stayed with her brother and father. Meanwhile Gullveig left, teaching women the historically honored if not flat-out expected prophetic and magical skills of German women. That Snorri turns this into witch (Heid) again shows his Christian mindset. (For fun look at the stories involving different troll women all named Heid who help heroes, stating his orlog and sometimes arming him magically as well in exchange for a kiss.)


With that little bit of my personal frustration with Heathenry about UPG on the record, let’s return to Sayers. One thing that I did take away from his paper is that Iceland was influenced by Gaelic Irish people. And why not? They were a large population living there from the beginning.


Sayers looks at the Gaelic legendary hero Conall Cernach in particular searching for clues in understanding Heimdall. Among other things is the disfigurement that may have occurred if he had offered his ear for his ability to hear silence itself as Conall is also disfigured especially on side of the face, the association with rams as Heimdall hears wool grow among other references while the Irish hero’s name appears to be linked to the word “horn” in the same way we find with Cernunus, and the role of sentry.


Another scholar already pointed out a connection between the two based on the kenning for a sword as Heimdall’s head and Conall’s two events involving human heads. As we know that for people living in Celtic cultures (the language, traditions and cosmology are the culture, not a place or race) the head of someone contains their power so keeping the skulls of wise ancestors or powerful enemies was traditional for very long time I’m not sure how much I would read into that. Often at holy wells people would drink from the skull of a saint. Even in the late 20th century there was a skull left untouched in a cemetery in Galway – untouched until my stupid boyfriend stole it. No curse upon him as he had already faced the number one cause of death of young men in Ireland and survived: suicide. (There still is an alarmingly high rate of suicide by young men in Ireland. Those who have tried to say it is because Ireland is homophobic or that all of these young men were sexually violated by Catholic priests, no, that doesn’t pan out. This has been going on for many decades and still no conclusion has been reached. My other teenage boyfriend in Ireland attempted suicide before I met him as well and then again when we broke up.)


The Dagda is also examined with Mannanan mac Lyr. Although Heimdall’s nine mothers are not specifically stated as being the daughters of Aegir (in fact the names we do know of his nine Jotun mothers according to Snorri appear to be the same as a few trollwomen related to earth, not ocean), the ninth wave in Ireland is called the ram.


In my own personal experience visiting Heimdall, which occurred when making offerings to the 50 or so Deities with whom I have relationships, from illness I passed out during his offering and “fared forth” something I prefer no longer to do. I was disoriented by his immediate comment of “missing fairies” as he was caught offguard by my statement “Beyond the ninth wave is for exiles.” Later a discussion with Freya would pull out a truth. Not necessarily the truth because with so many pantheons existing with the same gods and goddesses through time and space, she quietly (unusual for her) said that he was her half-brother fathered by Njord, hence the Van skills of prophecy, who joined Odin’s retinue, making the warlord his father. However this is the same goddess who repeatedly reminds me that it is impossible to do the genealogy of at least her family because of the fourth dimension: time. Heimdall has been many things, many places.


The article by Sayers only focuses on the Irish mythology for symbolic reasons that becomes evident when looking at the wordplay of skalds. Much of it makes sense in a different way when the Irish factors are considered.


Which of course led me to realize that the mythology in Iceland would have had some reinterpretations or different understandings added by the large Scottish and Irish residents. They may have not been there in Germania but they definitely have touched the Scandinavian mythology in Iceland with which Snorri dealt.


No big revelations about Heimdall “World flourishing” himself. That he was most likely God in northern Germania with agricultural connections like so many other scholars have agreed was again the outcome.


However by looking at possible Irish connections, including ones that he found inaccurate, caused me to think about how the 9th-century Irish woman in Iceland would understand this new mythology. First we must remember that she would’ve been raised Christian but she would still have knowledge of cultural concepts such as being beyond the ninth wave meaning exile and the ninth wave being called the ram. Depending on where she was from and her class she would have heard the legendary stories of heroes like Conall since storytelling is a fundamental skill that holds cultures together. The Celtic language speakers are recognized for their own poets in the early medieval times (among others). How would she tell the same story, accustomed to the Irish way of storytelling? If she would have known about the Gods now diminished and forced underground or underwater by her ancestors the Sons of Mil, I don’t know. I would suspect that she would know of the sidhe and their stories without knowing that they were once Gods.


Through her own eyes filtered through her own culture what would she have passed along to her children? In a few generations a different woman who became Heathen like her grandfather from Norway, what influence would her Irish grandmother had over her parents’ understanding of the mythology? What if her son became a skald? With Iceland having even until current times an exceptionally high percentage of the population as writers, how many of those Gaelic culture influenced stories worked their way into poetry that Snorri himself used in his guide to understanding and writing Scandinavian poetry?


This leads me to two general questions for two different types of Heathens: How is the Lore and its folkish followers purely German? And why are some other branches of Heathenry refusing to let the Lore continue to organically grow by ignoring modern UPG and cross-cultural studies?

How do we stop the police from murdering?



Your ignorance is their power.

This specifically is a post about police murdering African-Americans and what is the solution to this – honestly what is the solution?  This directly affects me because I have had friends killed by the police – one was a man assisting a female friend who just been raped. Having him at three in the morning checking down the streets to see if the rapist was still around as a white woman was crying in her doorway was enough for cruising police officers to stop and demand that he sit on the sidewalk.


Was he breaking the law in anyway? Course not. The police eventually understood what was happening. (Of course she did not contact the police because that is another level of trauma and so few victims ever win in court since they are the one on trial it made no sense to dial 911.) He was still sitting on the sidewalk when the police finally said he was free to go when another squad car pulled up, a cop jumped out and murdered him.


Yes, jumping out of a car and shooting somebody dead is murder. Doesn’t matter if you are wearing a blue uniform or not. 


This cop had done similar things in the past and was not taken off the police force for murdering a person trying to help his friend who had just been raped. The scariest part is that is when I heard I wasn’t surprised. When police officers jump out of cars and murder people you know sitting on the sidewalk with other police officers who say your friend wasn’t doing anything wrong you should feel surprised. 


I know people don’t want to think about these issues. I don’t enjoy knowing that this is so commonplace. I don’t enjoy knowing it happens ever. I’d rather be writing about wonderful happy things. We’d all prefer they weren’t real.  But if we don’t think about and talk about these issues more people like my friend are going to die for no other reason than the police institution protect killer cops. If you have friends or family who are police officers naturally you don’t want to insult them and might fear bringing this up. A friend of mine is the daughter of the man who arrested Manwell Noriega along with Pete Rose and yet her husband is African-American. As uncomfortable as it is for her to discuss institutionalized racism in law enforcement with her father – that’s precisely what she needed to do. 


In the United States you are much more likely to be murdered by a police officer than a terrorist. 


I keep wondering when white people will finally stop taking institutionalize racism as a personal attack. Yes, we live in a racist society. Yes, those of us who are white benefit from it. Yes, you might not be racist yourself but you still benefit from institutionalized systemic racism. You can tell me how hard your life is all you want – you can tell me about some horrible African-American you met once. That doesn’t mean that there isn’t institutionalize systemic racism in which we are so enveloped very few white people seem to notice.


As a white person how often are you not the dominant culture? What did you learn to survive not being the dominant culture? How have you had to adapt about not being the dominant culture? How has your health been affected by not being the dominant culture? You really can’t answer that if you are a white person. Because no matter how radical inside you are, your skin color let you pass. (Some transgendered people cannot pass as dominant culture, however. Same for some disabled people. But most white people could pass if their lives depended on it.) 


 In my town of 5,000 people (we are the big city in the Northeast Kingdom) of the few dark skinned people, an older Jamaican man who has lived here for over a decade, never been arrested, was pulled over five times by the police in one night. There was nothing wrong with his car. He was actually pulled over by the same policewoman twice. He waved to her when she took her hand off her gun and said “It’s still me.” 

This does not happen to my Caucasian mother. 


There are a lot of things that white people just don’t “get.” Especially liberals, because they seem to be blinded more by their invisible privilege than anyone else. They want to take over like the Messiah anything being done by people who are oppressed. Gods forbid oppressed people actually speak for themselves about their experiences! And that they can manage without a white leader. That being an ally means following directions and not trying to steal the show.


Plus you don’t get any fancy medal for not being an asshole. You just do the right thing because it’s the right thing to do. Do I have this amazing rainbow colored assortment of friends who pat me on the back for saying I benefit from racism? Hell no! I have multiple chemical sensitivity – I don’t leave this room. It’s just logical that I benefit because it was set up so that I would. Saying that does not make me a racist or a bad person in anyway. Avoiding talking about it perpetuates racism. That would give me a cause feel guilty. To lie. Also if every white American really had that one good African-American friend we keep reading about in surveys, each African-American would have EIGHT  really good white American friends. If that were true the majority of the faces at Black Lives Matter rallies would be white and they wouldn’t ask any questions about why this movement has to happen. 


This was written by one of the smartest friends I have ever had. Jeremy Hammond is a whistleblower and a benefactor of the Courage Foundation who also support Edward Snowden. I wrote to him about how his Twitter feed made him “sound like an asshole.” (Yeah, my exact words. I’m NOT tactful.)

I don’t have anything to do with why he wrote this. But the fact that I can say his Twitter account makes him seem like an asshole and he doesn’t become a defensive jerk and instead discusses things is one reason he’s so damn special. 


The post below is him writing about the point of view of a different 1% on this issue, another forgotten population.


 He’s one of those incredibly supportive people who walks his talk. He’s made me question a lot of my own beliefs and that is always good. I’ve spent the night wrestling with a lot of hard topics because of knowing him. He’s one of the few people who are really encouraging about all of the work I do for free when really sick to help others. All that stuff in the media by people who know him saying that he is the nicest most helpful guy you will ever meet – it’s actually true. He’s one of the few people where I feel like I can be myself totally, I don’t have to be scared that any part of my experience as a woman, a rape survivor, a person with a chronic illness will be invalidated because he can’t deal with it. There’s not many people I can say that about. It takes real strength to hear of others’ oppression and not try to shut them because you feel defensive, anxious, atacked, “brought down” and feel the need to shut the person up. 


 A population that continually faces death by cop should not be told to shut up just because you don’t want to believe it, you want to think that people deserve it, you need to think that the world’s fair. Your emotional special needs to stay in denial are part of the oppression. I’ve had enough people do that to me when I became chronically ill that I can tell you you fucking suck if you do that. You hurt people so deeply you don’t deserve compassion. That’s my opinion having been in a community where people want to somehow imagine we deserve what we got. Don’t want to think about how their attitudes and way of life are the barriers of access to us having a life. So I don’t feel any compassion for those of you who refuse to admit that you have special invisible privilege. I have compassion fatigue from putting up with your special needs. How many excuses can the people that you oppress make to justify why seemingly good people treat us so poorly? Why aren’t you the ones who are showing compassion, having empathy, doing the reading, listening to other people without already having your mind made up? I’m tired educating oppressors about how they are oppressors – especially when the main way that they are oppressors is that they refused to validate that there is any systemic institutionalized oppression. If you can just admit that exists as the cornerstone of our culture you are now somebody that is safe to talk to. You can treat me like a person as opposed to a problem.


But until then you are denying the reality of millions of Americans including me and we don’t owe you anything. No education and no kindness. You are so lucky that we keep accommodating your denial. We keep giving you 15th chances. You are so lucky that we still have enough hope to actually tell you the truth. Because when we stop speaking up is when you have to be really afraid. 


(If you want to read about solitary confinement in the United States, where they lie and say that there is no such thing, definitely read the first part of this post. It is pretty heavy and might ruin any trust you have in the government. If you need to stay in denial and think that things are fair and equal do not read that post.) 



This part two of a two-part series from Jeremy Hammond, detailing his experience while housed in the segregated housing unit, or SHU, from July to September of 2015.


Back in the box again. Anyone doing time is going to end up in solitary confinement at some point; no self-respecting convict is obeying each and every petty rule, and I’ve been averaging at least a month or so each year since I’ve been down.


While it’s not surprising I found myself in SHU again, this time I had no idea what I supposedly did: no charge or explanation, no one says anything to me for a week. I’m back there pacing the tiny-ass cell thinking maybe this is about reporting on the various lockdowns and water issues, or encouraging mayhem at the DNC and RNC, or writing public statements against the proposed federal prison in nearby Letcher County, KY, or the FOIA requests, or maybe a few other things in the works I’m not sure whether they are aware of or not. None of this is really against the rules, but you never know if they’re going to hit you anyway. Either way it brings me pleasure to know I’ve caused them some headaches and annoyances over the years.


Eventually the bigwigs do their weekly clown parade and I find out I was locked up because I was “encouraging rebellion and criminal activities on the Internet” – i.e. the same thing I’ve been doing since I arrived at FCI Manchester two and a half years ago. But this time I crossed the line, they say, by inciting violence against police officers. I’m told I’m being transferred, and on three separate occasions I’m being told I’m going to a communications management unit (CMU) – a controversial control unit built during the Bush administration with heavy restrictions on communications primarily reserved for supposed “terrorists.”


Later I find out it was specifically over this tweet: “Cops getting away with murder for so long it’s about time someone started popping off on them pigs. It’s tit for tat, baby. Support the Dallas Shooter!”


Inflammatory, sure, and in retrospect I don’t want anyone to think I’m encouraging people to shoot at random cops, But I also didn’t say anything that’s not being said in every prison and in every neighborhood that experiences police violence on an everyday basis. This came in the immediate aftermath of the murders in St. Paul and in Baton Rouge, after the acquittal of the cops in Freddie Gray’s death: it just keeps happening over and over again. Imprisoned, we’ve watched all of this from afar, unable to attend the rallies and join the widespread public outrage against these killer cops who just keep getting away with it over and over again.


Groups like the Fraternal Order of Police and various police chief associations knew they had another mess on their hands and launched a coordinated PR campaign to turn the story away from all the people being murdered by cops and focus on some supposed Dallas shooter conspiracy to attack law enforcement. They condemned the shooter as a terrorist and a racist, saying he was visiting “hate” websites and tried connecting the attack to Black Lives Matter despite the fact BLM is overwhelmingly nonviolent. For days all you’d see on the news was “American heroes under attack” with various police representatives justifying increased militarization at rallies while somehow also claiming that “police protect the protesters,” a ridiculous assertion considering how they regularly beat up and mass arrest us.


You’d get the impression there was universal denunciations of the attack, but when they showed his picture with his fist in the air, most everyone here in prison was like “Hell yeah!” and “It’s about time!” – supportive sentiments contrasting so heavily from the seemingly universal condemnations from the TV networks and the pacifist reformists. I put the tweet out because the perspective of prisoners who have also experienced police brutality, whose voices are otherwise silenced and dismissed from the debate, must be heard.


Understandably, the BOP was pissed about it: after all, the flag at FCI Manchester was at half mast for a week, just as it was when Nancy Reagan died. But some friends also raised similar concerns whether I was wise to be so explicit and brazen, whether I really believe indiscriminate violence against police is the best strategy. What I said was really not all that different from what I’ve been putting out since before I was locked up. For example, the Anonymous “Chinga La Migra” hack of Arizona police included an ASCII graphic of an AK-47 with the words, “Yes we’re aware that putting the pigs on blast puts risks their safety, those poor defenseless police officers who lock people up for decades, who get away with brutality and torture, who discriminate against people of color, who make and break their own laws as they see fit. We are making sure they experience just a taste of the same kind of violence and terror they dish out on an every day basis.” Another comrade in Texas brought up a point: since they very well could have been at that protest, would it have changed my attitude if they were also hit? The shooter was specifically targeting cops, but two protesters were also hit.


To be clear, I don’t think we should be going around killing cops, and it is extremely reckless to shoot off guns at protests. With any tactic, you absolutely have to eliminate any possibility of inadvertently injuring innocent bystanders: consider that for all the actions of the ELF and the Weather Underground, they never killed anybody. When I did the “Shooting Sheriffs Saturday” hack of 70+ police departments, I redacted the personal information of people in jail, while posting the names, addresses, and email contents for thousands of police officers.


The state of free speech in imprisoned America and the growing rift between police and the people was swirling through my mind as I sat in the SHU. This is the third time I’ve been here at Manchester SHU, four if you want to count the two day “mistake” they made a month earlier. For all the talk of prison reform, there have been no observable changes in the cruel and unusual conditions that is everyday life in the Special Housing Unit. Manchester’s SHU is more restrictive than national BOP policy: no newspapers, books, magazines or photographs allowed from the mail. No coffee. Two junk fiction books off this janky-ass cart they pass around once a week. Only five hours of fresh air a week in the dog cages, if they don’t take it for frivolous reasons like our shirts not being tucked in or our bed not being made. Catch a shot while you’re back there, even for something as petty as saving bread or a packet of ketchup from one of the meals to eat during those late night hungry moments, they’ll come and take your blanket, put you in paper suits, and give you cold meals for five days.


The isolation and drudgery can’t be understated: even strong minds, no matter what, you’re going end up a little bugged out and have to find creative ways of passing time. I folded some origami dodecahedrons, played the movie “The Matrix” in my head with Neo being played by Will Smith as it was originally intended, and mastered the technique of peeling paint off the walls by simply staring at it long enough with enough concentration. But the stretches of boredom are sometimes punctuated with brief intense moments, like when my comrade two doors down was hit with the extraction squad. Refusing to cuff up to be put into the paper suits for refusing a cellie, a goon squad decked out in riot gear busted down the cell, roughed him up a bit while shouting “stop resisting,” cut off his orange rags, and forced him into the paper suits. It was horrific, but cell extractions like this are pretty common and supposedly backed by policy.


After a month of being told that I was going to be transferred, all of a sudden I’m kicked out the SHU and back on the compound. I’m given a write-up which reads like a federal indictment: “Hammond has the ability to influence the decisions and actions of others in public. Therefore, by directing his outside contact to post messages advocating violence towards a particular group of people, Hammond has effectively endangered the public, specifically police officers.” But it’s only a 397 series write-up for “phone abuse,” a low-severity shot you generally don’t even go to the box for (though they did take my phone privileges for two months).


I was given a stern warning by the prison’s intelligence officers who made it clear I got off light and that they are watching my every move and communication. I asserted my right to speak freely about politics, prison conditions or whatever I feel like, which they even acknowledged was allowed, but that I “can’t incite or advocate violence in any way.” Furthermore, “we know about the strike,” referring to the September 9th nationwide prisoner work strike on the anniversary of the Attica rebellion. “Hmm?” I mused. “Don’t know what you’re talking about.” Though there are a thousand complaints about our conditions, and that they’re working at UNICOR military sweatshops for nickels an hour, the climate here and at most medium-security prisons is pretty chill and it doesn’t look like people here are trying to buck. In any case, I don’t want to go to a CMU or spend months in the SHU awaiting transfer: they’ve won this round, I’m going to chill out, happy just to be drinking coffee, getting some sun, and reading good books.


Catching up on world events from the giant stack of newspapers and magazines they’ve held since I’ve been gone, it looks like the situation has been getting worse and worse. Another police murder of a black youth in Milwaukee while Donald Trump encouraged law enforcement to use increased militaristic tactics, specifically mentioning my hometown of Chicago where the cops have been basically waging a war on the people. Despite the “blue code of silence” cover-ups, the Homan Square black site, the failures of the Independence Police Review Authority, the police propaganda machine is pushing “Blue Lives Matter” laws to create a new class of hate crimes, something which I probably could have been prosecuted under simply for what I’ve spoken about in the past. The word is out, they’re monitoring everything, so watch what you say, even what you think, especially if you’re in prison. But in the back of the minds of all those who have experienced police oppression, the question remains: what is it going to take to put an end to this police state once and for all?


Jeremy Hammond is a beneficiary of the Courage Foundation. A former member of the hacking network Anonymous, Jeremy is a gifted, young computer programmer currently spending a decade in prison. He allegedly revealed more than five million emails from the private intelligence firm Strategic Forecasting (Stratfor), which revealed that Stratfor had been spying on human rights activists at the behest of corporations and governments.

Respectfully for the Our Troth Member who didn’t know what Invisible Privilege is

I was reading an interesting blog essay by a Heathen man about how he thought that Heathenry, especially his own community Our Troth, was where women had equality and there was no sexism. I thought it was great that he actually asked women for their experiences and was surprised. He wrote about what he learned and called out men to not let this continue. That’s pretty fucking cool. I respect people who can change their opinions when they hear what it’s like for others.


He started off by saying he didn’t know what invisible privilege was almost as if he wasn’t sure if it existed. So I’m going to give just a small, every day example of male invisible privilege I experienced that happened with Heathenry, but could be anywhere.


Online I meet two young men within a couple hours of myself – in Vermont that is close – who are interested in having a sumble. We have a very low population in the state so it is hard to find others with similar interests and actually get together. I knew nothing about either one of these men except that they seemed to be in their early 20s and I was in my late 30s. They wanted us to meet in a remote State Park for the ritual.


I said I was not comfortable meeting men alone in a remote State Park.


If you were online dating you would meet first in public places. For most women saying “I’m going to meet some strange men with mead in the middle of nowhere” they probably need a depressing reality check.


For the writer of that blog who talks about being former military, former cop and a big stereotypical Heathen man, safety would probably not be the first thing on his mind. In fact rape would probably not even cross his mind as a possibility.


Meanwhile I am expected to defend to these men why I would need to meet them first in public places several times at least before wandering into the woods with some mead.


“Why?” They asked me, offended.


How do I explain that because of male privilege and living in a rape society I have to consider them potential rapists for my own safety worrying I’ll be told that I am prejudiced, man hating, paranoid bitch? Just because we live in institutionally sexist society where the victims of rape are put on trial, does not mean that every man is a rapist. But I still cannot take the chance. Just like because we live in an institutionalized racist society does not mean that every white person is a racist. The personal is political.


The political problem of rape culture and sexism unfortunately personally affects good men, not just me. It’s not a “woman’s problem.” It hurts everyone in the community. Same thing with racism. If you don’t want to be a Caucasian feeling angry and hurt that racism is affecting your life negatively then you need to be part of the solution. And that means listening to the people who are most affected. So do I miss out on what could be great experiences because of institutionalized sexism? Probably. And others miss out on meeting a really cool possible friend or even future awesome lover and girlfriend.


These are things that I as a woman have to think about all of the time. Were those men rapists? I don’t know but their obvious lack of awareness made them dangerous and continues to support the invisible privilege that men have. To them I was the one with the problem – as opposed to understanding that our society created this problem and if they don’t want women to be afraid to go alone into the woods with alcohol and strange man, they have a lot of work to do in our society so that will not be a problem. In the end I was excluded from a ritual I should have every right to attend, that I wanted to attend. However my concerns for my safety as a disabled woman were ignored and used against me – something was wrong with me for even considering that these men might be dangerous.


For them to not even be able to see my point of view shows how invisible their privilege is to them. They can’t see it. That’s why it is invisible. It’s not that it’s illegal for me attend. The barrier was different. They couldn’t see it when I tried to explain and I bet they still think that I’m the one who is paranoid and overreacting. It doesn’t seem to be until men have daughters that they suddenly understand these sorts of statements. And even then the questions sometimes have to actually be framed as “Would you feel comfortable with your daughter doing … ? ” (So literally patriarchal, I’m sadly laughing at how much humans need to unlearn.)


Someone could say, “Well, those were just two stupid guys.” As if it was just some random one time occurrence when in reality as a woman it is something I have to think about whenever invited to anything. How do I know what security is like at a Pagan festival? Booze and strangers, the best equation for acquaintance rape. Will people automatically assume the woman wanted sex if she seen kissing someone? Or that was her own fault for getting drunk? Do the heterosexual men at festivals worry about letting their hair down and having a man rape them?


If I go to ceremony will I feel invalidated because of my experiences as a woman? Because that doesn’t make me feel safe. If people do not understand invisible privilege that makes me more likely to be a victim of violence, depression, anxiety and alienation. I won’t want to work with any people who deny my everyday reality, and that includes ableism.


It’s similar for people who are African-American, transgendered, in poverty, using a wheelchair, etc. When the lack of the same privileges is ignored or denied, a large part of that person’s identity is being ignored or denied. And a lot of us are tired of pretending that it is an even playing field when it is not. We don’t want to be in communities where we cannot bring our history and our realities and instead the dominant culture decides what is real. That’s exclusion and truly discriminatory.


I don’t remember the name of the blog or blogger (Lyme/babesiosis brain fog), but if he had questions, then I thought others might. Our Troth leaders especially need to understand these terms as they are the biggest voice for Heathens and recent events have made them draw a much clearer line about what is acceptable. Working in prisons I need them to be able to reach people faithfully studying the Old Ways, saying folkish makes them liberal compared to most Heathens due to Odinist gangs being the alternative.


Please Heathens, get in the belly of the beast where hatred is spawned. You’re often focused on human community. Many Heathens claim to be warriors. Can you protect our community by being teachers to where the battle is most vicious? Because many men find Heathenry in prison and have a limited awareness of what the religion is on the outside. Go in there and tell those, the ones not fully corrupted by white supremacist gangs. There’s hope, if they have a different Heathen community. 1% of the American population is in prison, more than any nation in the world. Obviously it’s not that Americans commit far more crime than in other places. The United States deals with “justice” in a way that doesn’t improve our communities.


If you want to be a hero, go to your forgotten and lost at sea brethren before they become the TV stereotype of Viking raiders. Give them a home on land. They found the Gods but they haven’t found community. Understand how the United States “justice” system actually works in prison so you can be community. Many of these men don’t know anything about the outside aside from a crappy childhood and one stupid drunk night as a teenager with a gun before they were Heathen. They are now in their 40s faithfully reading, learning Old Norse, creating beautiful artwork of the Gods, celebrating the same holidays as you. Those who have been able to resist white supremacy gangs need another community, another option, and you are going to have to reach them where they are, not where you wish they were.


I feel like it must be safe to say this to this person because he was able to listen to women in his Heathenry that he respects. I’m grateful his open mind and honesty with that situation gave me an opportunity to explain. I hope it clears things up for other reasonable, understanding people who have had problems figuring out what institutionalized, systemic -isms are, how they cause invisible privilege and why that harms everybody.



Thank you for reading. I hope I provided clarification. That invisible privilege exists is not your fault but like nuclear radiation and climate chaos, invisible privilege still affects you and you have to be part of the solution if you want it to go away.