Posts Tagged ‘me’

MARCH! vernal equinox 2017

March 13, 2017


I think this month is called ‘March’ because that is all we can do, especially if we are a band or a group or an army trying to get through the circle of the year.     Supplies put by in the autumn are running low.    Sure, the flocks have had babies and are growing on mothers milk,  but what about those mothers?  Certainly the days are longer, drawing equal again to the darkness.   but when a belly’s empty and the shit of winter is peeking out from the muddy snowbanks, it’s hard to care.


No food, no shelter, possibly with the wrong clothing, the troops have no recourse but to march. We follow the bird of omen toward where we hope against hope that the springtime, the first tender sprouts,  have already come forth.


A trout may have been frozen in place all the icy winter, but at the first trickle of current past its gills, awareness returns.  Trout face the current, minimizing energy expenditure, letting food morsels wash toward them.  At a suspicion of danger they dart in an explosive burst into cover of banks or branches.  They ‘spring’ fastest against the current! they do not drift in it overwhelmed, like dead things do.   The current detected assures them that they are alive.


It’s life or death time.   The Trail of Tears began in spring, a survival march in the face of oppression.   It seems as if absolutely everything that can go wrong at the Ides of March will do it.  Your toilet will clog.  The frameworks will rust though on your long-held plans.  You are free, all right, free to scavenge, free to march.  Sort through your life, so very alive and getting greener.  Pack up the best and travel on faith, because it will have to do.


Like the trout, just keep swimming.



face of rainbow trout by Mike Savlen




Bards of the Pacific: the Legacy of Katharine Luomala

October 23, 2014

katharine-luomala-1955-1959_250x250 (image from Guggenheim collection)

Bards of the Pacific — the Legacy of Katharine Luomala

As the autumn season continues to wind down toward Samhain, it is a time to celebrate the legacy of the honored dead. This multi-part article is going to focus on the life’s work of my great aunt Katharine Luomala Phd, Polynesian folklorist.

As you hopefully know already, bards and oral instruction are a crucial part of the Druid path among humans, however it is now structured. So also was it throughout Polynesia. The peoples of these far-flung island nations are remarkably similar both genetically and culturally, part of a prehistoric diaspora from Southeast Asia that some argue stretched as far east as the Americas. Marked similarities in their cultural practices, traditions, and mythologies fascinate folklorists, who rushed to record what remained of the oral traditions after missionary and colonial contact in the early 20th century.

Much like the Neo-Pagan movement, modern Polynesians are rediscovering their cultural roots, and in the process rediscovering the preservation of their ancestral stories by dedicated academics like my ancestor, Dr. Luomala. Traditional practices are enriched, and new ones formed, with the help of such studies. And unlike many scholarly works, her writing is seldom dry and inaccessible. Her popular and synthesizing style earned her the 1984 Hawaii Award for Literature shortly before her death.

So how did a Finnish-American farm girl from northern Minnesota end up dedicating her life to collecting local myths at the University of Hawaii? For dedicated is the correct description. She never married; she traveled the world upon the conference circuit sharing with her peers, and was known as extraordinarily helpful to her grateful students. Her collected writings number in the hundreds. The University of California-Berkeley houses her collected papers and memorabilia.–+Dept.+of+Anthropology&subjectid=4015&item=3

Katharine, or as the family knew her, ‘Aunt Kai’, was a seldom seen legend to us kids back in the north woods. Born before World War I, she grew up tri-lingual in Finnish, Swedish and English on the Luomala dairying homestead in St Louis County near Duluth, Minnesota. Her childhood recollections of surviving the Great Cloquet Forest Fire she has shared with the Minnesota Historical Society.

The fire spared the homestead, which the family will eventually give to the local Historical Society as well, as a rare surviving example of 19th c. Finnish log construction; but for now it is still in use by Luomala descendants. I too grew up there, in a no-nonsense farming family that encouraged scholarship with a glass cabinet-filled library of 19th and early 20th century books against its plastered plank walls, including first editions of Rackham’s fairy tales, science texts, and the Kalevala.

From here young Katharine progressed in her academics as far as the distant paradise of California, attending the University of California-Berkeley, known for its strong contributions to anthropology, ethnology, and folklore.A stint of research in Navajo country interviewing elders introduced her to folklore as a discipline, so she threw herself into academia, getting her doctorate and relocating to the growing new University of Hawaii. Phd level was achieved in 1936.

She also served the US government during World War II, recommending largely ignored re-socialization measures for the Japanese citizens in internment camps. This was when she met the love of her life, a US Navy officer who was killed in action before he could divorce his first wife to be with her. They spent happy times together, I am sure, both in California and in Hawaii— but this, while serving as fodder for future romance novels by yours truly, is not how Katharine wished to be remembered. She poured out all that loving energy into her life’s work instead— capturing what she poetically described as the ‘voices on the wind’ in Polynesia.

Honolulu was to be her home for the rest of her long life. People hearing her surname would sometimes be surprised to see a leggy golden blond with a square jaw instead of a native Hawaiian. Finnish and Hawaiian do have some superficial similarities! But Dr. Luomala demonstrated admirable love and respect for her chosen culture. She dressed informally in the muumuu, even sending them to us little grand-nieces as presents, and wore fresh leis at least once a week. She never neglected present day traditions in her studies, as titles like Hula’ Ki’i: Hawaiian Puppetry demonstrate.

But her most famous works were about the great mythic figures of island legend, such as Maui of a Thousand Tricks, or the syncretic work I am going to discuss in later articles, Voices on the Wind.

Teaching came naturally to her. Online I was able to find this paean to her from one of the myriads of anthropology students she served to inspire.

There is also a commemorative volume in her honor, full of the work of those she influenced, and influenced her in return, in the field of Polynesian studies.

Here is a link to her Huge List of Publications  

I was surprised to find no good photo of Dr. Katharine Luomala online, so here is a remedy to that, scanned from a book jacket.


I leave to you the decision about whether she qualifies as a Bard herself, or is merely a celebrator of Bards. Next article will deal in more depth with the content of the message, the ancestral voices she preserved, much as Elias Lonnrot did for the Finnish national epic.  He interviewed the singers of Kalevala and compiled their songs into one huge cycle. I suspect this is the true inspiration for my ancestor Dr. Luomala’s work in Polynesia.


Female Druids– reprint from the Magical Buffet

April 3, 2013

Female Druids.

” Most modern Pagans are Wiccans or Witches, according to the few surveys that have been done; we Druids are still
a tiny minority. Women of Celtic heritage have told me that they did not pursue the Druid path because “the Druids were all
men”. But as more and more women study Celtic history, get degrees, do research, write books and teach in the colleges,
the word is finally getting out that this is not so. But for millennia it has been a well kept secret…. ”

Historical re constructionist and renowned herbalist Ellen Evert Hopman presents an excellent perspective on the proper place of females in the Celtic tradition of Druidry. I never let it come between me and my Druidism, as I never have aspired to Celtic ‘roots’ for it. Nature is an ordinary part of life according to the Slovak and Finnish bloodlines I do have, and labeling them ‘Druid’ is just a top-coating. For those who like their Druid stylin’ from somewhere farther south and east, with plenty of Ogham and knotwork, Here are your selling points.

Female Druids

Horror fiction based on current events

March 8, 2011

This is an adult erotic horror story based on current USA events and set in the near future.  Eventually it will be offered as part of a free ebook sampler at Dark Roast Press,

Title: Miscarried in New Georgia
author: helgaleena
genre: futurefic, erotic horror
warnings: violence, noncon, profanity, reality, incest, mention of sex

art by Frida Kahlo

Miscarried in New Georgia
By Helgaleena

Tags: erotic horror, futurefic


Time for the shuffle to the showers. I may look like a middle age frump, but by golly I am a convicted killer and the staff can show the likes of me no tenderness. It’s strip, lather and rinse between two matrons and no funny business. Then blow dry and back into the cotton blend zip-up bags of the week.

Prison garments are shapeless enough that our bodies don’t show much, just sticks of elbows and ankle bones above the papery slippers. They shave our heads right away in order to cut down on the allure on that end. Can’t have the staff getting ideas about the inmates and possibly being seduced into putting seeds in unworthy vessels like us. We’d just kill it, you know.

After I bumped into the walls enough times, the guards realized it was not for vanity that I had worn contact lenses, and I was issued some lumpy acrylic spectacles. The prescription isn’t very accurate, but they’re just to keep me manageable until the execution.

Executions in New Georgia are backed up. Seems like more and more things have a death sentence attached, not just killing but also grievous destruction of any sort of property. Theft is no big deal still and will only get you locked up, but if anything actually got ruined, off you go to get your lethal injection.

Breeding stock, whether it’s fish or peaches or poultry, is big business. So many chemicals in the water nowadays make it harder for even the honeybees to keep up their numbers. So I guess that’s what not carrying a child to term is, nowadays, killing breeding stock. And if my body didn’t fight off the sperm armies and win that month, there’s a zygote that gets more blessing than me to keep living. After all, it might be a male.

In my case, somebody jumped me on the way home from work. One minute I’m fishing out my car keys, the next minute there’s a big hand in a glove over my mouth and hot breath on my neck and something sharp pressed into my side. I still remember the awful taste of that glove.

At first he was suave enough, saying persuasive things while he ran his knife up and down the insides of my thighs, getting me to spread them wide while he crushed me up against the wall. When he cut my pants right off, I started to panic though. And he got angry, tried to choke me. Cold wetness as I pissed myself is the last thing I remember, and getting out one shriek.

I fought hard enough to get knocked out and left for dead. They did a rape kit in the emergency room at Atlanta General and the police went after the bastard. But my body didn’t defend itself well enough. Guess having three healthy children before that sort of predisposed my unthinking womb to be ready to do it again, whether I wanted the kid or not.

Little Janine over there tried really hard to get her zygotes to stay but they never did. I could have told her she was too young to carry, if she’d been one of my girls. But we only met here on death row in Georgia Female Correctional. Six bloody four-month failures and her family doctor turned her in to Child Protective Services. The child they are protecting isn’t Janine, though. It’s all those dead things that changed their mind about calling her Mama someday.

Child Protective Services just ain’t the same as it was when I was coming up. Used to be they’d wonder who was doing this to the girl and put a stop to it before she screwed up her chance at a career too badly. Now if it’s a female they don’t think she’d be any good for more than a child support check by way of a career. Service jobs, such ones as are available, they go to the men first anyhow. Oh how my Jim got ragged on for letting me work a job! But once we had the twins, it was either get two incomes in or give them all away.

Janine’s own daddy was putting those babies in her. He said it was in the Bible, and being home schooled like all his kids, Janine accepted that as the way of things. Of course that was not what they told the doctor. Some things most Christians still don’t take as literally as the ones from way back in the piney woods like Janine’s folks. The doctor thought she was just another one of those teens trying for protection from a gang by putting out. It would have been a way out for Janine, onto welfare like her big sister, if she carried one to term, but not when he started in on her so young.

But now she’s convinced she’s bad breeding stock and it’s God’s will that she be culled. That just tears me up; she’s no such thing. You should see the tits on that little girl. She’s built for bringing up children, and if only she had been properly brought up herself I bet she would be a fine mother.

You see Marina? I know her because her cell is next to mine. Most of the time she’s just crying and mumbling, but late at night sometimes she makes more sense. Bit by bit while we wait to die I get her story.

They drove her crazy by taking her kids away, in my opinion. Like me she was trying to get by with a job as well as looking after her babies, and suddenly her doctor goes and prescribes her bed-rest. I think her big mistake was to say no while she was still at the hospital. That’s how they got her. She should have lied, said she had an auntie who’d do for them, got away home and just held her babies. They could have run for the state line. Now she’s never going to see them again.

The hospital got a court order forcing her to stay put, and Child Protective Services picked up her toddlers. In her ‘confinement’ she went hysterical, I would have too. Then her blood pressure went whack and she lost the child inside her anyway. The way the law is now, that’s murder by insanity, I guess. Even if somebody drives you insane, if you lose it you pay, if you aren’t the one with the sperm.

She says she began to be delirious with fever and so they cut her open to pull out the child. It was dead, dead and rotting. And her living babies are gone, gone. All she has is the Caesarian scar and her fever damaged dreams. Sometimes they feed her with a tube, because she won’t eat the tray they bring. She says it’s dead, the stuff on the tray. Well, of course it is, it’s cooked! We only eat dead things, if you think about it. I wish Marina would realize we will be dead just like that food all too soon. No way around it. We’re going to feed that rich Georgia clay. The crops will grow, and the livestock, and people will kill them, and we will be somebody’s food. Her little bambino is already there, dead in somebody’s food.

Marina’s husband is going to be a very angry ex-con when he gets out and finds his family dead and scattered. He’s gonna rape somebody like me, I just know it.

Jim ended up leaving me and the kids after the rape. It just did something to him, knowing, and he couldn’t bring himself to touch me anymore. Damn it hurt how he would force himself to give me a hug with this poorly concealed grimace. There was the infectious disease of another man’s seed on me, contaminating the place that once was meant only for our own.

The hell of it was, we were stuck with the situation. By the time we could have saved up enough to move us all out of state it would be too late to abort anyway. And I was bound over to testify against whoever provided the DNA provided by the official rape test, which meant it would have been illegal for me to leave greater Atlanta.

His checks kept coming for rent and groceries; he’s a good man and would never try to tear the kids away from me– dang I am a good mother, and I kept our vows. You’d think that would count for something, but not in this world I guess. His mind accepted that all this was not my fault but deep down both of us knew it wasn’t his fault either. And how could it be a baby’s fault? Pastor told us this too shall pass, but I couldn’t help hating that baby in me. No way would I keep it, but no way could I imagine having a child and letting it go either. It just seemed so wrong not to love it. But I couldn’t.

At the trial once they caught the guy, he got sentenced to a slap on the wrist. I wasn’t the first baby momma he admitted to knowing about. But evidently they thought he needed to be a wage earner so they would have something to garnish, to pay for all the seeds he’d sown on the willing and the unwilling. It just ate at me—I could’ve died of exposure and saved me and the little invader a lot of misery. And then maybe he’d be dying too.

He probably has other kids they don’t know about besides the ones he already pays support on. That angry type won’t be able to get out of his rut, only getting the sort of jobs where they spit on him for being scum, which he is. And he’ll take it out on little women walking down the street instead of his cranky boss—until somebody actually dies, anyway. Besides me.

I told the Child Protective Services shrink the truth about how I hated the kid coming, and she advised me to have the kid first and the breakdown afterward, and to let myself be hospitalized for that. My husband would get custody of our children, all except for the new one that wasn’t his. That one would be brought up by the new state labor farm system, working to pay back the expense of its upbringing in the newfangled way. And maybe I’d feel better someday. Maybe they’d let me go back home from the funny farm to my own man and babies…

But it didn’t work out that way. I think all the hate made itself into poison, making war on my own body. I got preeclampsia so bad my kidneys quit working. While I was on dialysis the damn baby died.

They think I did it. Maybe I did. It’s on record, I hated that child. But anyway I am well enough to walk now, and they just hook me up to the blood cleaner every week until it’s time to kill me for good. Kid wasn’t to term, and that’s a miscarriage. The doc testified that if I ever got pregnant again it would kill any new baby, not just me. So that means Jim’s just about a widower already.

He’s going to have to come home now, so he can get the kids back. And I won’t be there. I’ll never tuck my twins in again, or get to tell Tommy how to act around girls. That bullying scum’s sperm was more valuable than my whole life. Please don’t grow up to be like that, Tommy…

It was a boy, the invader of my body who died. Maybe if it had been a girl I would have possibly wished for her to survive, would have grieved, hoping that being female she would somehow be more human than her sire, but instead I feel glad. Glad because I won over that evil raping sperm and it won’t be continuing on to another generation. Even if it is going to take my life in the end, somebody’s paying. Come to think of it, I have heard there are evil mothers who don’t love their own children, neglect them, abandon them. I am beginning to understand where they might have come from.

Maybe if he hadn’t hurt me so much, maybe if I hadn’t fought him, I would have been like Tessa. Tessa managed to tell nobody. Nobody knows how Tessa got with child because she still won’t tell. Tessa ate and ate and everyone around her thought she was just getting hugely fat. But then the baby came early in the toilet at a highway rest stop. And Tessa bled so much that she passed out and couldn’t get away. That’s why Tessa is here instead of at some weight loss spa. Doesn’t matter how much money her folks had. She’s here, waiting to be dead like us.

We are the ones who miscarried. We are the ones who were not receptive enough to the zygotes our bodies failed to repel. Future human breeding stock will not have our flaws. Women in New Georgia will be sought after for all the things for which we die, having failed. They will be timid and sturdy and easy to lead. And so will their children, their millions of children.

This story also appears at Healing Lines my druid blog, and my LJ

Special Samhain Treat

November 1, 2009

——>  <——

This is a link to where I have uploaded the latest issue of the Druid Inquirer, a free offering from the Reformed Druids of North America.

Mike put it in a members-only Yahoo group, RDNAtalk, instead of the usual place, but I’d like to get it to more viewers.

The occasion is that 1) Mike the Fool’s website is migrating away from Geocities this month so they aren’t available there until his new ‘org’ site is established,

2) it’s damn good, as usual, and pertinent to some of the ethnocentric squabbling I have been stepping in at Usenet’s alt.religion.druid

3) Dark Roast Press went into the erotic romance end with
Samhain’s Embrace by Jesse Fox,  (out of print, 2014)
as well as the all-ages horror business with Chris Newman’s
Tales from the Uprising,
and AP Miller’s
All Hallows Eve.  (out of print, 2014)
So I am in the mood to share.   New Dark Roast link

What would the ancestors want? is one timely question that arises in us now. They mainly want us to keep our DNA going, I reckon. But what else?

That has been tossing like salad in my head as I reread George Orwell and the Stargate Chronicles of McMoneagle.  And I hope it won’t be too costly to inter what is left of me when the time comes.  I do want to be recycled.

Eclipse transmission

July 23, 2009

Eclipse to Me :

my darling hush

for you have lived

to be old

still wear

your rainbow crown

streams still flow

pains dissolving risen remain

and there will be

places to see

people to do

first fruits to pluck

wicker men to burn

and stories

I think I am going to kvetch here.

July 12, 2009


It’s a Sunday and I have signed up to blog at The Pagan and the Pen. To do it I need to put on my WordPress hat.

I have so many blogs already, but Myspace blog, ‘Helgaleena says’, where I wanted to do my romance business, is not working due to evil msplinks that thinks everything at is spam.  Perhaps I will repost what is worthy here. There are so many thinkings involved with putting links up.  The Hutt’s brain moves slowly across the webs.

What I have been mainly doing is crocheting, combing words, nursing a paraplegic old pet, and recovering from my own health problems, which I could not do fully until now until the visits to and from relatives and the supervision of contractors was concluded.

But damn, I lived. They need me alive.  And smiling when possible.