Dual Faith Observance and Traditional Witchcraft

The Nowl Betwixt

“To return to witches however, although there are obvious similarities with some of the modern magical practices carried out by Wiccans, most of the methods and techniques used by the old-time witches bear little resemblance to those used by today’s neo-pagan witches. Often the cunning folk practised dual faith observance and the charms, amulets, prayers and incantations they used invoked Jesus, the Virgin Mary, the Trinity and the company of saints. Psalms were used for magical purposes as spells and they still are in some modern traditional witchcraft circles. With the coming of the new faith of Christianity and the suppression of the ancient pagan religions, objects such as crucifixes, saints’ medallions, the host and holy water were widely used by folk magicians because they were believed to possess ‘virtue’ or magical energy and inherent healing power.

Christian symbolism was used in folk magic rituals involving psychic protection, counter-magic snd…

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30 Days of Devotion: Loki day 11

May be an image of text that says 'Thirty Days Devotion to Spongecake Day! Loki Day11 Festívals, Days, Times Sacred to Loki'

To quote Sir Elton John on this one, Saturday Night’s alright. Usually Saturday is a good time to honor the Trickster, as it’s become SPG that this is his day. And it kinda works, if you think about it: most people rush to try to make him fit into the Mercury mold (and while he does share some characteristics of the archetype as ever moving and ever chatting) while I think he gives off Saturnian vibes.

Saturn Talisman Image
Saturn’s depiction from the Picatrix, a medieval magickal treatise.

In Astrology Saturn marks limits or boundaries. It’s the planet of discipline, being the Lord of time. He’s a darker archetype, but he ultimately helps us get our lives in order. He brings down structures that aren’t serving us in order to build something better for ourselves. As anyone who is going through or has gone through their personal Saturn return can attest (when Saturn returns to the position in the sky where he was when we were born, usually at around the age of 27-29), Saturn brings about an earthquake to test the foundations to check for any less than ideal constructions. It helps if you think of your Saturn return or his influence as your own personal Ragnarok.

And since I mentioned the Picatrix, here is a website that talks more in depth about it. Go read it and see if it doesn’t scream Loki to you, especially the shapeshifting bit :). Just ignore the “EVIL” part, *eyeroll*.

30 Days of Devotion: Loki Day 10

May be an image of text that says 'Thirty Days Devotion to Loki Day Ten Offerings (Tradítional & UPG) Imago Arthur'

I’m probably not going to say anything original. He’s got a sweet tooth and a penchant for liquor. Cue the fireball shots and glazed donuts on the altar.

He also enjoys seeing his loved ones taking care of themselves. Despite what any Nokean might say, he’s only pushing us to be better toward ourselves. Loki will remind you (with growing urgency) to drink water, take your meds, to go for that walk. He will push you to make that appointment with the doctor and hold you when you’re not feeling well. In all, taking care of ourselves and pouring into our own cups is an offering that he enjoys.

Another acts of service or devotion include but are not limited to:

Donating time or money towards children’s charities.

Dancing and raising energy with any other, ehem, kinds of physical activities.

Spending time talking to others about him or his children/spouses, especially helping to dismantle any misconceptions and adding nuance to discussions.

Baking him sweets or giving him a bit of spicy food.

Gender exploration.

Paying your bills on time and paying off your debt.

Tending to your inner child. Playing in the playground, playing with your kids, looking at the world through a lens of fun and excitement.

Lending a hand or an ear to people usually considered outcasts. A compassionate word or a small prayer to people going through a rough time can be a wonderful offering of itself.

But mostly, he loves seeing his people living their truth, whatever that may look like.

Hail Loki!

30 Days of Devotion: Loki Day 8 & 9

May be an image of text that says 'Thirty Days Devotion to Loki Day Eight Varíations of this Deity (aspects, regional forms, etc.) m Arthur'

I live in Pomo and Miwok territories, and I think that just like Loki is close to Spider, he is related to Coyote. In Miwok mythology, Coyote (O-let’-te Coyote-man) is considered a Creator deity and ancestor as well as a trickster. Like Loki, he’s wily and cunning. His keen eyes can pierce the shadows of illusion and laugh at us when we are tumbling in the dark (he doesn’t do it out of malice though, usually he will step up after we learnt our lesson). Coyote can also be very sensual, and needs strong boundaries.

Another regional deity I associate with Loki is the Aztec Huehuecoyotl (Old Coyote). A couple of months ago I was researching Mexican Pre-Columbine deities after a journeying experience with a curandera, and after I decided to add T’s paternal ancestors to the communal altar. I found someone who did tonalli readings, which is basically an in-depth look into what was going on in the traditional calendar on the day on one’s birth. Mesoamerican spirituality considers human beings as having multiple souls (much like the Norse), and an expert can see which part belongs where by looking at the calendar and gives out advice. Surprise, surprise, Coyote was revealed to be one of the rulers of one of my souls. Since then I’ve tried to honor this spirit and try to implement his teachings into my life.

From the Codex Borgia, 16th Century.
F. N. Wilson – Curtis, Edward S. Indian Days of the Long Ago. Yonkers-on-Hudson: World Book Company, 1915, p 84.
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This is going to be very short, because I believe many others have stated the most common misconceptions about Loki in a more succinct and eloquent manner than I ever could.

  1. That Loki is Norse Satan. If anything, he’s a Christic figure. Fight me.
  2. That Loki is just a chAOS DEiTy. Thank you, next.
  3. Loki is a self-serving egomaniac who will stab you in the end. Again, YMMV, but he’s actually very loyal and protective of his people.
  4. Loki is a soft femboy who loves attention and he is uwu. No. Genderqueer, yes. Loves attention yes. No on the uwu.

Those are the main ones and the ones that irritate me the most.

30 Days of Devotion: Loki Day 6 & 7

May be an image of text that says 'Thirty Days Devotion to Loki Day SIX Related deíties and entíties associated with Loki. Rkm Image Rackham'

I’m sooooo behind omg. I’m so sorry Loki. Things have been hectic (as always). I talked about his relatives and spouses in the previous post, so I just wanted to talk about a connection with the Spider, since I’ve been getting spiders these days.

Spider gods are tricksters in different pantheons. The ones I was aware of are the African Anansi/Ananse, the Lakota trickster Ik’tomi, and the Hopi Grandmother Spider (Gogyeng Sowuhti). I consider these distant cousins, and it’s just my UPG but Loki doesn’t seem fazed by the Spider’s sudden interest in me and my house (trying to get rid of my arachnophobia).

Image
David M. Buisán

@DavidMBuisan

Weaving is a meaningful activity linked with both stories and fate. It was also a gendered activity within Norse culture (see Frigg’s weaving and spindle). So of course, these associations make sense with Loki, as both a cunning spinner of tales and as a gender rebel.

Spider is also a Promethean being, with Grandmother Spider being the one introducing fire to the world (hello, association with Loki and fire in SPG). Spider is also tricky, they abides and waits for prey to fall into their web. Spider can be seductive (see Mr. Nancy in American Gods) and deadly. But ultimately, spider is a protective spirit with a bad rep, just like Loki is.

Honoring the Goddess: Grandmother Spider - Earth Magick
https://earth-magick.com/journal/honoring-the-goddess-grandmother-spider/

May be an image of text that says 'Thirty Days Devotion to Loki Day Seven Names and Epíthets of Loki :ARkm Arthur'

I adore you, Mr. I’ll stab you in the chest and in your back to help you get out of that body that doesn’t suit you anymore.

I adore you, “Don’t forget the Cinnamon Toast Crunch!”

I adore you, Mx. Hot Stuff.

I adore you, Spiderling Pappa.

I adore you, Wolf Father.

I adore you, Mother of Witches.

I adore you, Primordial Fire.

I adore you Loki, Lodur, Loptr. Forever and always.

30 Days of Devotion: Loki day 4 & 5

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I’m torn on this one. There are a few that I have to read up on that I know are important, and there’s one in particular that I like (the Lokasenna) because it gives us SO much information about who Loki is, where he’s at mentally and emotionally, and his relationship to the gods in Asgard…

I’ve already covered the Lay of Thrym, so I think I’m going to go with the story of the Master Builder. There’s a wonderful animation that I recommend to anyone not familiar with the tale, and I believe few wouldn’t be! It’s a common joke for people to make… you know, that Loki turned into a mare to distract the Builder’s horse Svaðilfari…and sometime later surprise! Sleipnir was born :D.

The PG version. Also, lol yet another jotun who wants to marry Freyja.
affectivedisorder:
“Loki and Svadilfari sketches.
”
https://thegodoffireandtricks.tumblr.com/post/102375092571/affectivedisorder-loki-and-svadilfari-sketchesCheck out the artist’s tumblr! @ https://thegodoffireandtricks.tumblr.com/post/102375092571/affectivedisorder-loki-and-svadilfari-sketches

I’m here for some Svaðilfari love.

affectivedisorder:
“Finished, but still just a fucking sketch.
Svadilfari, Loki and baby Sleipnir :) Because I like make little stupid gifts for my friends.”
I hope the artist makes print soon, because OH LORDS.

I like this story a lot. There’s shapeshifting and fluid gender dynamics. For some reason this is the myth that I feel most drawn to (as a reflection of my relationship to Their Highness), and not only because I keep getting the Ehwaz rune (haha). Loki is a good parent, and he (they) show me that it’s okay to just leave everything and go be with your kid for a while. Even if the kid has 8 legs and runs so fast that you can’t keep up.

May be an image of text that says 'Thirty Days Devotion to Loki Day Five Members of Loki's Family~ Parents, Children, Partners, etc. I:huRackham'

This ties in to the previous prompt, I don’t see much about Sleipnir online which makes me think I need to get on with the program and start drawing more horses >.>

All I know from his kids comes from my own UPG. Fenrir helps me with my anger, I’ve asked Hel for help with shadow work, and I’ve seen Jor in a vision, but only a glimpse. I believe Jormungandr got a little (SPOILER FOR THE SHOW RAGNAROK) screen time which I enjoyed quite a bit. Sleipnir rides on during the Wild Hunt at/around Yule time. And Loki loves his babies.

angrboda-norse-mythology
Angrboda with the three children. https://skjalden.com/angrboda/

Perhaps even less is known about his two other children Narvi/Narfi and Vali, Sigyn’s children, since their lives were cut short in the most gruesome manner. I don’t want to visit that today, so just head on over to the last verses of the Lokasenna for that. Oh, and now I’m crying.

😎 — nanihoosartblog: Loki + Narvi & Vali ❤
VISIT THE ARTIST’S SITE, She’s amazing. https://nanigram.tumblr.com/post/162177395567/loki-narvi-vali

As for Loki’s parents, I’ve used birch in ritual for recaning/sainning (smoke cleansing) prior to working with Loki. Birch is connected to Laufey in the Norwegian rune poem stanzas for Berkanan/Beorc

Bjarkan er laufgrønstr líma;
Loki bar flærða tíma.

Birch has the greenest leaves of any shrub;
Loki was fortunate in his deceit.

And it just makes sense that he was born from a tree. Faurbauti (Great Striker) can be seen as the Big Lightning(tm) who infuses the birch tree (Laufey) with his energy, which results in the creation of Loki (Little Lightning). When you give birth it really does feel like you’re being split open by electricity. I don’t know, it checks out.

Last, his partners from the lore. Sigyn, his wife, and Angrboda, his paramour. We already covered Svaðilfari. Again, we don’t know much about Sigyn, other than what we can gather from the etymology of her name (Sig – victory, victory woman, victory girlfriend). There’s theories out there about her parentage, possibly linking her to Oðinn (whose heiti Sigfaðir makes it seem likely), and it’s something to think about. What better way to consolidate a political alliance than with a blood oath AND a marriage? Marrying his daughter with his new ally would make sense (and it makes the ultimate betrayal at the end of Lokasenna EXTRA BAD). Again, just a theory. All we know is she was probably one of the Aesir. She’s the goddess of endurance and fidelity. I associate the rune Uruz and Nauthiz with her, and she’s the one I call on when home life gets tough. She’s the OG, holding the bowl for her man, even after everyone else has left them. Hail Sigyn!

Sigyn Diosa VIKINGA 【La FIDELIDAD hecha en DIOSA】
https://nombresdediosas.com/sigyn/

Boda has been seen as a more feral yang energy type to Sigyn’s yin. Loki’s famous three children were born from this union, although we don’t know who bore the children (I see a very interesting dynamic there in terms of gender). Some of my friends call on her to get them out of a rut, or when they need an extra push. I myself am a chicken, and have not reached out yet.

Angrboda again!! by PopIntelligentsia on DeviantArt
https://www.deviantart.com/popintelligentsia/art/Angrboda-again-341671599

Whew, that was fun and exhausting. I wish I could keep talking about all of this for hours, but until next time!

Hail Loki! Hail his blessed children and partners!

30 Days of Devotion: Loki Day 3

May be an image of text that says 'Thirty Days Devotion to Loki Day Three Share Symbols and Icons of Loki :Rk'

I am SO behind, omg, so I’m going to do my best to complete them today so I can start tomorrow in earnest.

Symbols and Icons of Loki, 1, 2, 3, go!

Common Raven — Madison Audubon
The Raven

Several of Loki’s heiti (nicknames, alternate names) are related to the sky, and more especifically to birbs. And yes, we tend to think of ravens as immediate signs of Loki’s blood brother, but corvids are tricksters so I think it’s a fair association.

Next up, another birb.

Vulture/ Gammleid

Have you ever seen a vulture? They have enormous wings, and there is a sharp contrast between the flesh colored head and their dark feathers. There’s also different kinds. The one that’s more familiar to me is the Andean kuntur, condor, but I discovered there’s a bunch of different ones.

Vultures get a bad reputation, and they’re seen as both unsanitary and as harbingers of death (hello??? Loki associations). On the contrary, vultures are majestic guardians of the sky who have a very important mission: to clean up and make sure that the cycle of life and death goes unhindered. Imagine if there were many many rotten carcasses just laying around. Thank you vulture.

Next we got the hawk/falcon.

Hawk eyed: how to write about birds of prey

Loki borrows Freyja’s falcon feathered cloak to travel on occassion, according to the lore, so whenever I see a hawk in the sky I like to think it’s one of them checking up on me. Hawks and falcons especially were used for hunting in the Middle Ages and were seen as symbols of status (only the creme de la creme were allowed to own and use them). So yeah, regal vibes.

As for icons go (sorry this turned into a birb appreciation post), the Kirkby (Stephen) stone and the Snaptun stone are both depictions of Loki that people know. Important details: horns, sewn lips, a mustachio, and fetters.

Snaptun stone, discovered in the 1950s. Click on image for a great blog in Spanish.
The Loki Stone, Kirkby Stephen
The Stephen Kirkby Stone, dating 8th Century CE. Click on image for details.

As far as modern symbols go, the two entangled snakes are a favorite. This one, I have no clue about and I’m still looking into it.

Pin on Random Fandom Stuff

For a last one, and this is very common UPG (SPG?) among Lokeans: the fox. Fox is cunning, loves to play tricks, but he’s also a good teacher and adorable to boot. Some Lokeans have been nudged towards looking into comparing the deity Inari and the kitsune spirits to connect with Loki as well.

The blind fox that lives in Nuneaton with deer and dog - BBC News
The Legendary Kitsune
Click on this image of the Kitsune, you know you want to.

Anyway, one post down, three more to go 🙂 hail Loki!

30 Days of Devotion: Loki day 2

May be an image of text that says 'Thirty Days Devotion to Loki Day Two How did you first become aware of Loki? Im'
Credit to Amy Marsh for the graphics.

I probably will get some hate for this one, but I’ll be honest. I’m Latin American, so Norse mythology wasn’t something I was aware of. My introduction to the Norse pantheon was through the MCU. And to be even more honest, while the first Thor film was beautiful and well directed (gotta love Kenneth Branagh), I probably paid more attention to Chris Hemsworth than anything else because well, you know. Loki the character was in my radar then. I felt for him. I could relate to being an outsider and feeling rejected.

I wanted to go deeper into the comic book world, but access to it was difficult and confusing (I tried finding the vintage Thor comics online), so I had only a few volumes to peruse (comics are expensive in Latin America, and I didn’t have a credit card to subscribe to the new read online service). I was only able to find a few compilations about a year after I watched the first film, once I had my own money.

Thor: The Trials of Loki: Fiumara, Sebastian, Aguirre-Sacasa, Roberto:  9780785151661: Amazon.com: Books

I read The Trials of Loki and started developing a deeper sympathy for the character. Then grad school happened, and I wasn’t able to buy any more comics. I watched the second Thor movie and that was that…

Until I answered the call, and started worshiping the Norse pantheon. I started with Odin, and I was obsessed with him. Then came Freyja and Freyr. Eventually I read somewhere that if you offer a drink to Odin you have to pour one for Loki. It clicked then. He was real.

Then I had an initiatory vision of sorts, soon after I started giving him some offerings. One of my friends told me she saw a little snake wrapped around me in her mind’s eye. He started showing up and crashing my meditations. I had some scary (but necessary) experiences, and he showed me the way out of complacency and victim mentality. Got on my ass about shadow work, and for that I thank him. It’s been a year now, and I’m still trying to figure out when he first started trying to contact me, or how long he’s been protecting me, but it seems like it’s much longer than I thought.

So hail Loki, it started with a movie and it’s been going well.

I love you and thank you for being in my life.

30 days of Devotion: Loki Day 1

I’m a day late, eek! I was made aware that there’s a tradition now among lokeans to fill out a prompt in honor of our deity for the month of July. It’s part of a preparation for August, for Lokabrenna (or the Rising of Sirius, star related to Loki in lore).

The first day (credit to Amy Marsh):

May be an image of text that says 'Thirty Days Devotion to Loki Day1: Find and read a good basic introduction to Loki. what stands out for you? I:AthurRackham source:'

For the first day I decided to revisit the “Lay of Thrym” or the “Thrysmkvitha”, a poetic composition found in The Poetic Edda (or Elder Edda). Why did I choose to revisit this story? I think it showcases many of Loki’s best attributes (cunning and sharp wit) and it also shows the relationship between him and other gods in a very lighthearted manner. Plus, who doesn’t love some dressing up and mischief?

Þrymskviða - Wikipedia

Basically, Thor wakes up and find his hammer (mjolnir) missing, so he immediately starts hollering for Loki (which, fair, as anyone who has worked with Loki can attest, is the knee jerk reaction when something goes missing). Loki borrows Freyja’s feather cloak to find mjolnir and comes upon the giant Thrym in Jotunheimr. He reveals that he has, in fact, stolen the hammer and will only return it if Freyja accepts to be his wife. Freyja refuses, and Heimdall suggests that Thor should dress up and pretend to be her in order to trick Thrym into returning the hammer. Hilarity ensues as Thor gets into a wedding dress. Freyja lends him Brisingammen to make the disguise more real, and Loki shapeshifts into “his maiden”. Both of them fly to Jotunheim, and a heavy veiled Thor sits down to the wedding feast. Thor being Thor (aka eating like a small family of 12), he almost gets them found out, and Loki has to keep making progressively funnier and funnier lies to keep them from being found out:

25. Then loud spake Thrym, | the giants’ leader:
“Who ever saw bride | more keenly bite?
I ne’er saw bride | with a broader bite,
Nor a maiden who drank | more mead than this!”

26. Hard by there sat | the serving-maid wise,
So well she answered | the giant’s words:
“From food has Freyja | eight nights fasted,
So hot was her longing | for Jotunheim.”

Of course Thor is super fucking mad at the AUDACITY of this bitch, so his eyes almost betray the ploy, and Loki has to step in again:

27. Thrym looked ‘neath the veil, | for he longed to kiss,
But back he leaped | the length of the hall:
“Why are so fearful | the eyes of Freyja?
Fire, methinks, | from her eyes burns forth.”

28. Hard by there sat | the serving-maid wise,
So well she answered | the giant’s words:
“No sleep has Freyja | for eight nights found,
So hot was her longing | for Jotunheim.”

At the end of the meal, Thrym makes a huge mistake and wants to hallow the union (usually performed by placing a hammer on the bride’s lap) with the actual mjolnir, and once Thor has his hammer back the ruse is up and he kicks some jotun ass.

And everyone lived happily ever after. That is the usual story structure for the adventures of Thor and Loki. As a last comment, I love the interpretation of them being natural phenomena dependent on each other. Loki, being Laufey (Birch tree) and Farbauti’s (Mighty Striker) child seen as lightning and Thor as the thunder. Thus, they accompany each other in their travel through the sky.

Praised be Loki (and praised be Thor).

The Night of Saint Joan

The Eve of June 24th is a big event for Latin American Catholics in the Southern hemisphere, and it’s a big night in general in the Northern hemisphere if Strindberg is to be believed (see the play Ms. Julie). Saint John the Baptist’s birthday is celebrated on the 24th, and it’s one of a few birthdays with dates celebrated within that faith. It is a night of possibility very close to the Solstice. In the Andes the Solstice marks the beginning of a festival called Inti Raymi, a celebration of the Sun god (Inti), which can expand several days. In Bolivia it marks the Aymara New Year.

Inti Raymi 2020 - Festival of Sun (Full day)

Two or three years ago I was in Barcelona, on the beach, enjoying the minimal breeze, looking at the groups of families and friends gathered in celebration. There might have been fires and fireworks too. I was with my good friend V, who is from Majorca. We met in Barcelona because we were doing some research over at the Archives of the Crown of Aragon and the Biblioteca de Catalunya. We first met in Boulder while she was a visiting scholar, and it was one of those friendships that develops slowly but that last over time. I remember being frazzled all the time, and just taking the time to show her around town, letting her know about where to find good deals (and where the good cafeteria was), helped me settle into a different rhythm. She repaid the favor when I visited both Barcelona and Majorca, and I haven’t been the same since. That night we visited the beach to celebrate the death of the old and the bringing in the new energy. In the old days, both in Spain and my natal Bolivia, people used to burn effigies and other items, but pollution has forced the governments to ban or restrict those practices now (I think Catalunya permits some communal burnings to take place now). That night, as we talked over some drinks and store bought sushi, we discussed our goals for the new cycle and the things we were letting go of.

25.000 personas celebran la verbena de Sant Joan en las playas de Barcelona

During my stay there I “learned” a different time. The slow mindful footsteps on the cobbled streets of the Historic center and the sights were a reminder of a different cosmovision. Barcelona was Medieval, Christian and Jewish, yes, but also Pagan. Roman ruins were the foundation of the great Medieval and 19th century Art Nouveau city. Going even further in time, the city has ruins and objects from Phoenicians and other cultures. A port of entry into the Peninsula for the Mediterranean, as the Kingdom of Granada was and is to and from Africa. The timelines converged and I could feel the distant call, I didn’t know who or why, but I felt a buzzing in my body. A knowing. It was funny because it was confirmed that my family has Spanish ancestry, and from the Catalunya region specifically, so my first trip overseas to the Old Continent was a coming back of sorts. Still, the Andean in me felt at odds upon seeing the pillaged beauty of the New World in the artifacts and gilded edges of the books in Philip II’s spectacular library. The silver from Potosi gained after the genocide of millions of my other people. Curious thing, how much the body can hold from different past lives and ancestral memories.

La biblioteca más hermosa de Madrid - National Geographic en Español

Even more curiously, a different kind of awakening would happen the next summer. I found a book on the street, a year after my first encounter with opposition from my former Catholic faith in the form of a notice of excommunication by a priest. It was not the first or the last time I encountered the book, but certainly it was the entry point to a new faith and a new life. Walking back to my Airbnb after a morning at the library, I found a well worn copy of American Gods. That event marked the beginning of the visions and mystical experiences. It took some time for the seed to bloom, I didn’t quite finish the book right away (with grad school and all), but what the body felt was real. Coming from someone that spent (spends) half of their time dissociating from their body, it had to scream in order for me to notice.

Trigger warning here for c*ercion and a**ault.

An coming to the end of this post, after that long detour, I chose to embody my experience and make things official. After more than a year of being hounded by a certain member of the Aesir, of being and having my friends harassed by that same god, of being assaulted and coerced into doing things and agreeing to share knowledge while in a position of disadvantage…

Trigger warning ends.

After that nightmare, copious amounts of divination from myself and other non involved parties, after thinking long and hard and drafting a contract, I dedicated myself to Loki. The one who had been there from the beginning, trying to guide me towards the best path for me. The god who takes me to meet other deities and guides I need to know in order to do stuff. Loki, the networker, the advisor, who takes you on conferences and pushes you to speak with the experts of different fields, etc.

Under the light of the Full Moon in Capricorn, after a quite brutal Mercury retrograde in Gemini season, I performed a blot and became his. Here’s to many happy memories and moments of growth. Hail Loki, his children, and Lady Sigyn!

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