MASKS > Freyja


Half naked. Barely there mentality and waiting for the next moment of comfort and ease to appear-- unsure of when, or how that might occur. Unsure of-- a lot of things.

The loose skin around my thighs, arms and stomach hung like a thousand pounds and weighed even heavier on my mind. My eyes went shifty and unable to focus. Here I was exposed for who I am.

Thinking of nothing but my own un-comfortability within my body, I started to dissect myself one toe nail and one strand of arm hair at a time.

But it was time to gear up. Time to pretend those feelings of self disgust didn't exist. Time to put on the ultimate act.

As the first burst of paint was airbrushed a crossed my goosebumped skin, I tried not to show fear. I tried to avoid eye contact at all costs. I tried to make jokes and I tried to be "sexy" and suck everything in both physically, and energetically. I couldn't let these amazing artists feel my fears. I hunkered down my toes and started to imagine my guards being dropped, and I imagined myself with a confident jaw.

Why am I so vulnerable? I was chosen for this part? Why do I feel I am going into battle with myself? --And whom or what was I really fighting?

As I stood there my body transformed. From the ground up I saw my body being covered in an armour that seemed familial, and familiar, to something of the past.

The weak, ashamed and guilt ridden pile of flesh and bones and consciousness bellow my face was suddenly starting to tighten.

I was everything. All emotions both positive and seemingly negative. Every aspect of humanity.

The person I own, that I maneuver each and every day and night, was transforming in a whirlwind I couldn't quite grasp.

The time was ticking as I had yet again over scheduled my self, so I knew I didn't have time to slowly ease into this part.

Even though we needed to rush, this felt like a lifetime for me.

The hatred and darkness and sadness I often feel for myself was being buried, covered, set, and engraved in stone flesh. I was incapsulated. I was entranced.

A robot with the capabilities, strength, courage and beauty like never before was being uploaded straight just from the source-- one toe at a time. My ankles, shins, knees, thighs, stomach, chest, arms, throat and my nose. And then it stopped.

The decision was made to only paint me up to my nose, leaving my eyes, the windows to my soul open and full of interpretation, yet again, rendering me vulnerable. I looked in the mirror scanning to see the beautiful war paint all over my body. A stark white under layer with jet black, almost tribal yet alien-patterns reminiscent of that of Viking runes to match the necklace encrypted with unknown symbols Charlotte had gifted me a few weeks prior. I felt empowered.

Then I looked into my own eyes.

Bare and unpainted, unadorned. Naked. I stare inside as if I was another entity other then myself. I had embraced my character to her fullest and yet I saw the small window into myself, chalk full of all the parts I didn't quite like, and starting to except themselves Ina divine non-duality/oneness.

I remembered just a few months back I had the honor to meet my biological mother whom I had never met before. Upon asking my heritage, I discovered I was of Viking decent. So of course, I did my research.

Upon this research, I found the goddess/archetype of Freya (Freyja) and instantly connected with her.

She was a warrior. A shapeshifter. Someone of great power, someone with great pain. She was a dichotomous pile of flesh of bones, just as I felt. She was both exalted, feared, longed for, propitiated, celebrated, and scorned all at the same time.

When Charlotte told me I would be enacting this character in the photoshoot, that I would get to embrace this archetype Freya, it all seemed far too synchronistic to be a mere coincidence. In clairvoyance, she created the headdress I would be modeling based on this warrior woman, and she chose me, to play the part.

And what I came to realize, it wasn't a part that was being played, but more so that I truly embodied her in this moment and there on after, as I had before, many times ago.

A warrior and a lover. Known for her love of romantic music and beautiful floral arrangements, she was also known to be the goddess of war and of death alike. A woman who lived so out into the ether that few people could handle or contain her.

This juxtaposition spoke to me deeply.

So there I stood. Looking myself up and down with the war paint on my bare skin.

Charlotte then came over and placed her artwork, the headdress embodying Freya, on top of my skull. Transformative.

Standing taller then I ever have my fears and trepidations seemed to turn into a strong willed force not to be reckoned with. Is a Scurry the cameras started to roll as I pierced the lenses sharply with my stare, sort of a "Fuck you" to the parts of me I hated. I embodied what felt like an internally, eternal and ever present fire.

Was Charlotte able to see something that I could not yet see?

A different side of the same page?

The Valkyrie within me arose with a vengeance.

The headdress adorned with a large skull in the middle, bones, feathers and fabric dark as the night. The infinite detail I can't quite describe. Mystical adorations and fringe and hanging layers of all different textures sizes and shapes. Reminded me of the sacred necklace of infatuation that Freya wore that no man or woman could resist to gaze upon.

I felt powerfully that the vulnerability I felt still shown sweetly and honestly thru my eyes and yet I felt it was ok. I felt my body looked confident and empowered from an outside perspective, and again, this dichotomy intrigued and confused me.

One after another I found my body making weird shapes it hadn't made before. Stances that I felt I had protected myself with, stances unmistakably transcending from Freya herself. Heavy on my head did the ancient energies weigh. A grounding and yet ethereal moment that descended time had washed over us all. An ulterior focus projected Thru this body of art. Had a past self been this person before?

Tribal repetitive drumming appeared between the small ossicles of my ear holes. My heart beat louder then it felt it that it should.

Then the shoot was over. What just happened? Did something of a divine nature take my weak willed and vulnerable body over? Was something speaking thru Charlotte, thru her work, and thru me?

The headdress was taken off. My eyes were wide open. Time had been lost. Time tomorrow forward.

-Shayna Moonshadow