₰ [English Version]

It’s been very quiet on this blog for a very long time — so quiet in fact, that I have been asked whether Loki and I are still “with one another”. That made me smile, and I was glad. We are indeed “with one another”.

There were several reasons for my radio silence, such as it were — among others, the completion and submission of my PhD thesis one month ago. After that, I did want to take up blogging again, but I couldn’t. Although I had topics to write about piling up higher and higher, none of those topics seemed to want to jump my bones. And what’s more, there was still this… issue. The issue this blog post is going to be about, namely my un-baptism. This post is more a kind of field report than anything else, much less a universal manual. It can’t be, anyway, for the mere reason that technically, the purpose of un-baptism, cannot even exist.

Baptism

In March 1998, almost exactly 16 years ago, I was baptised Lutheran/Protestant and confirmed. I was, at that point, 16 years old. My reasons that led me to take that step were pretty dim-witted — as I was in love with a person who worked with the Protestant church and was bent on emulating that person in many aspects. Now, the fact of the matter is, that in the “upstairs department”, no one cares for what reasons you get baptised; it creates a binding — and all the more so if, as in my case, the baptism takes place after the baptised-in-spe has reached the age of… “religious maturity” (the German language has an adjective “religionsmündig” which literally describes the state after a coming-of-age with respect to manifesting one’s own religious choices).

In all Christian faith groups that I know of, baptism is a sacrament, i.e., a visible sign of entering into, or partaking of, a divine reality. Like all sacraments, baptism is inviolate. In particular and somewhat simplified, baptism means the entry of the baptised into the fellowship of God (the Christian one), i.e., the community of those allowed to partake of the gift of redemption from (Original) Sin. This baptism cannot be undone by anything or anyone.

During the past two years, I would sometimes catch myself pondering the momentous nature of the decision I made back then. A couple of people I was in contact with sought to allay my unease by taking the standpoint that “it may not have taken, really” because I “only recently came into [my] ‘true religion'”. As well-meaning as they were, I couldn’t help but feel that this attitude seemed a little optimistic, and more than a little opportunistic to me. And although it should take a year for the problem to resurface, time was going to show I was right in that assessment.

Bindings

During the last two months while I was completing my PhD thesis, my relationship with Loki was intense, and very close. An incident that had the makings to put that relationship to some serious test, led to it growing even stronger than before.

As I closed in on the final submission of my PhD thesis, things became quieter, which didn’t worry me over much. I struggled and I found it unfortunate, as time was something that I would, for the time being, have in spades. But the fact is that you just cannot “summon” the Gods. Effectively, I needn’t have stressed over it, as after only a few days of silence, Loki popped up with a Big One (no, not what you’re thinking).

He asked that I make a statement of intent regarding something, out loud and in a very specific, formal and formulaic manner; somehow I managed to weasel out of Him (more like He let me, really) that He wanted to render me an opportunity to be un-baptised. That evening, I learned a couple of things about Him that touched me deeply.

Had He not done what He did — and no, I don’t know what exactly it was — It would not have been possible for me to dissolve the binding through the sacrament of baptism. It was only through His action that I was given the opportunity to un-baptise myself. I think the best way to describe the situation is as a room that Loki had unlocked from the outside; but to open the door and walk out was something I needed to do myself.

This made me realise how deeply I was truly bound by my baptism. Unknowingly maybe, and for silly reasons, but bound nevertheless. Because the thought of actually going through with this parting was anything but easy. Now I know that it actually mattered to the God of the Christians — at least in His person as Jesus Christ. I think that was the most harrowing realisation for me: that I would reject Him as a Deity, and that it would affect Him.

In a very emotional phone-call with a friend, during which I did what I seldom do, namely losing a lot of hydration by way of my eyes, and generally presenting a pitiful display, I finally, fully realised all that.

Of course the whole thing also scared me a little. Leaving the fellowship of God isn’t a walk in the park, and if it is, you’re probably doing it wrong. But, in addition to that bad feeling, I also kind of — well, that sounds stupid now — but I didn’t want to go looking for trouble. And most certainly I didn’t want to snub Anyone. It was, and still is, really saddening that the first time I came into actual contact with Jesus Christ would signify my leaving Him. As a Deity, He is still reachable for me — but I do not belong with Him anymore.

Action

After that, for a whole long while, nothing happened at all. My un-baptism was on the table, and through the help of my friend I gained an understanding how I might manage all of that ritually. But for a while there, nothing at all happened — or rather, I got temporarily caught up in an unhealthy situation that pushed all of that rather impressively onto the back burner. So far back that a clear, quite firm plan how and when to proceed, came to nothing.

Loki didn’t comment, and let me do my thing. I knew that He didn’t like that “unhealthy situation”, but of course, I “always know everything best” *divine eye-roll*. But after all, He has got more than enough time, and two petty little weeks more or less weren’t going to hurt.

Last week, finally, the time came. I didn’t want to continue postponing it indefinitely, because while Loki may have a lot of time, this applies to me to a much smaller degree. I came to get a feeling of ‘get a move on, will ya?’ — I’m sure everybody who ever had a deadline anywhere will be able to relate.

I don’t want to go into the details of the ritual itself. The way I had scripted it allowed for interaction/intervention from Deities at several points; in particular, the process of breaking the bond itself was divided into single sentences/steps that included a part of contemplation and intervention by Deities, if present. Both Loki and Christ were there, although Loki kept very much in the background — which was important and good. After all, the ritual was primarily designed in gratitude to and in parting from Jesus as a way-companion and way-keeper.

Observations

In the run-up, I was nervous that I would do it wrong, that nothing would happen, that the Gods would interfere, that the Gods would not interfere, that I would be none the wiser, after.

In the end, I need not have worried. The steps of breaking the bond itself, and the presence of the Deities were distinctly felt; and a fire in a flowerpot made an impression meriting an honourable mention.

The fire that I had planned for burning a piece of fabric, decided to act up and burn about a metre high — which was definitely too much for my living room. Ashes were flying about; it was very warm, and my “fire-let” was showing no inclination to grow any smaller. To the contrary, there were spurts and significant emission of smoke, although I was using pure cotton. At some point I decided that I had quite enough, since I also started worrying that someone might call the fire brigade — and due to my ritual garb, I can guarantee that would have become a story the fire-men tell their grandchildren. So, I poured water into the fire, which resulted in a lot of hissing and spitting, and even more smoke, but in the end, the fire had to go.

Note to future self: cotton twill burns very well. Teacandle wax as an accelerator likewise works very well. Grime is black. Loki likes to troll His people. (Somehow that sounds like it could come directly from one of the rune poems).

During the subsequent inofficial part of the evening, Loki was very close, and I was in a deeper trance that I didn’t induce intentionally (and only became aware of when I returned to “normal”). It was really nice; W/we celebrated together… and the most beautiful part of the night was Loki’s reaction when I said, “here I am”.

Perhaps the most stunning thing was that I instantly felt different. I couldn’t even answer the question, “different how?”. Words like “empty”, “light”, “free”, or similar, don’t fit in any case. It was and remains much more subtle than that, and will probably elude words indefinitely.

And finally, something I’m only beginning to explore is how my connection to Loki changed — because that, too, is no longer the same. Ever since Sunday night, I’m more… tuned into Him (I’m sorry for this use of wishy-washy language!!), and that is making me very vulnerable right now. Things that concern Him touch me differently than just a week ago, and I am finding it difficult to deal with.

I received gifts from Him, things that turned up just at the right moment and were almost ridiculously cheap to obtain. I’m smitten.

He is such an amazing guy.

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About Myriad

Myriad Hallaug Lokadís
This entry was posted in Communication and Communion, Loki and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to ₰ [English Version]

  1. Oh, wow, that all sounds very, very intense. I am glad it worked out well, though, fires that shouldn’t burn like that aside!

    • Myriad says:

      :) yeah, it was…! It’s one of these things where I don’t have any doubts whether the ritual worked or not, so I guess it did work out well, yup <3

      The fire was really a little intimidating, and much larger than I had imagined… the next morning, when I checked the remains, there was a lot of charred, grimy bits in the pot. The fire would have gone on for hours probably, as the bottom-most bits of fabric were soaked ful of wax and basically not burned down at all yet… I think one teacandle would have easily done the job, too :)

  2. angel011 says:

    Glad it worked well for you!
    Sorry if this is a stupid question: was it possible for you to get yourself excommunicated from the Church, and if it was, would it have the effect you desired? Come to think of it, since the Church didn’t excommunicate you, does that mean they still consider you one of their own, even if you don’t feel that way?

    • Myriad says:

      Difficult, and not at all stupid question. Wow, I think there’s a whole bunch of aspects to be considered! As far as I specifically am concerned, the situation is somewhat simpler than it could be for two reasons: One, I’m German, two, I was baptised Lutheran/Protestant.

      About my nationality: in Germany, churches are organised a bit differently than in the US (which I where I’m assuming that you’re from). Basically, there are two churches in Germany, and they are called “the Catholic church” and “the Protestant church”. There are so-called “Freikirchliche Gemeinden”, which are more like faith communities in the US, but they are rare. The big two churches are considered “statutory corporations” and have legal membership laws concerning them. So basically, when you’re in Germany and in one of the Big Two, then you can legally waive your membership in the church. Foremost, the consequence will be that you are no longer obliged to pay church taxes (yes, we pay tax money to fund the Big Two, a system that I wholeheartedly approve of because it led to Christian fundamentalism being basically non-existent in Germany).

      Now, out of those two, the Catholic church does not recognise this legal step as binding with respect to church membership — although they will stop receiving your tax payments. The Protestant church does recognise that legal step and will no longer consider you a member of the church. So, for me, as far as church membership was concerned, all I had to do was go up to the registry office and declare my secession.

      I do not know if excommunication is even practised in the church I was part of.

      But seeing as excommunication was off the table for me, why did I not leave it at secession? The answer lies in seeing a difference between the church and the fellowship of God, or not seeing it. And in my case, it was very clear that the church and the fellowship are not the same thing, and I would almost venture so far as to say, they are not the same, period.

      As far as excommunication is concerned, there is not much I can say, but this: it does bar one from receiving sacraments, but it does not take away or negate sacraments already received. I do not think that you can view excommunication as something like “anti-baptism” that will annihilate your baptism and get you a clean slate. In fact, excommunication will only heap onto you, so I would not recommend trying to get yourself excommunicated. Again, it bars you from receiving (some) sacraments, notably the eucharist, and there’s also an aspect of social shunning, but it does not dissolve your baptism.

      Now as for your situation — which probably is different from mine: first of all, I would look into whether it is possible for you to leave your church in any manner officially/legally or not. If it is possible, do so — that is, presuming you have made the decision and want to go through with it (and I hope I stated clearly that at least I found that it’s not by any means an easy decision). If it is not possible (barring excommunication), then leave it be.

      In any case, this secession step is merely symbolic and has limited effect (at least speaking for myself here), spiritually speaking. The church is not God, nor Christ, nor the Holy Ghost. Neither is the church equivalent with the fellowship of God. Whether you are considered a member by the organisation or not, in the end, matters little. Returning to my experience: after I had seceded, I was still baptised.

      In the end, it is a question between you and your Deities. I am sorry that I cannot be of more help there. It’s a question of negotiation — as this is not something that can, technically, happen. You can be released from it (by the God of the tradition you’re baptised into)… but it’s not something I, or any legally binding step you take in the mundane world, can make happen for you. But please don’t let that discourage you; it can happen, after all.

      I would also like to point out something else: it may be for free (if it happens), because They are Gods and can do stuff like that for no reason other than their benevolence. But it’s not very likely, and in all likelihood there is going to be some price to pay. It may take the form of a sacrifice or something like that; now, the God of the Christians does not take sacrifice (in the ancient sense). Nor is He exactly known to let people go easily (although calling to His second person [i.e., Jesus Christ] may be advisable for these matters, and definitely more approachable). However, there is a possibility that you may… transfer a debt, in a way, to the Deity or Deities you want to dedicate yourself to. This is complicated stuff, and I do not know nearly enough about it in order to really advise you on it, and I am feeling very uncomfortable doing so without adding at the very least the caution that PLEASE seek out a second, third, and fourth opinion. In my case — and I originally wanted to avoid talking about this because it may look like I think I’m oh-so-special but I’m really not! — Loki paid for me (and no, I still do not know what exactly that entailed, nor do I think that I ever will), and I’m indebted to Him. Do I feel comfortable about this? Well, it’s a question of how you define discomfort, really. In the situation I found myself, the fact that I was bound elsewhere, was causing me discomfort already; additionally, it was going to prevent a development of my devotional relationship past a certain point. Loki made a decision; I made a decision. There are going to be consequences with which I am going to live.

      I hope I didn’t completely flatten you with my answer to your question; I also hope you find it useful. If you have no objections, I would also use this comment to post a follow-up on tumblr (using an anonymous name instead of your handle of course). Would that be okay?

      • angel011 says:

        Sure, do it. Also, feel free to use either my handle here, or my tumblr (angel011.tumblr.com), I don’t mind at all.
        Thank you for the long answer, it was really informative! I feel a bit guilty now, though, as if I had deceived you (I had no intention to!). I was asking out of curiosity and because your story was truly intriguing (not to mention I’m always eager to learn), not because it’s a problem I personally had. I live in Serbia, and while The Serbian Orthodox Church is dominant here now (excommunication (called anathema) is rarely done, but it can happen, thus my question), at the time I was born the country was called Yugoslavia and was a communist one. My parents are atheists and they never had me baptized, so I was able to say “Hi” to Loki with a silly grin and no feeling of obligation to someone else.
        Once again, thanks for the answer!

      • Myriad says:

        Ohh, no problem at all! After all, there might be, and probably are, others who also find that question interesting, for more personal reasons. No harm done, in any case, and I’m not feeling deceived at all.

  3. Thank you for letting me read this. Also soft hug.

  4. eald says:

    I stumbled via Satis & your story above over your site here and I’m realy impressed. Think I will wisit this page now, from time to time.

    By the way: I too was baptised, in my case more out of couriosity then for an relationship and decided later – as I realised that that don’t work for me and ’cause I already found the asked help otherwise. Therfor it was nice to read your experiences. I of corse don’t worked on an anti-baptism. I only do the german paperwork you allready eplained (an had a hard doing to seperate me ‘magically’ from the institution, known as the church).

    I for myself felt the devine parting more like a agreement to disagree and therefore to seperate. That wasn’t a lighthearted step, but I, who too ‘cleared that’ with the Christ instead of the god-father, found him much more agreeable, then I could guess. As I say, the trouble in my case seams much more belonging from the church in the meaning of an egregore, an human made and might hungry force. So it seams, is my perception of the resource, the well of the resulting trouble (e. g.the payment) maybe a little bit different to yours!?

    But nevertheless, it brought many reminescences back to me, and therefore … thanks!

    • Myriad says:

      Hello eald, thank you for your interest, I’m happy that you like this blog and you’re very welcome to look around. As you probably are aware, I also have a German category; it is not quite identical to the English content on this site, but I do try to translate most posts — so if German is easier for you to read, you can definitely check that out :)

      About what you’re saying regarding leaving, or distancing yourself from a divine Being — you’re right, the situations (mine, yours) are a bit different, but there’s also an important thing that they have in common, namely a respectful approach to the Deity in question (Christ). I think that is very important, and it seems to me you did a good job there!

      Thanks for sharing your story, and hope to see you around soon!

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