The caveats I feel obliged to put forward are thus: our household tradition is informed by and inspired by the past and our ancestral cultures, primarily the Germanic/Scandinavian ones, but also, on my part, there is a not a small amount of influence from Hellas. Beth and I do actually observe a Wheel of the Year that is similar, at least in name, to the Wiccan Wheel of the Year. We’ve got Ewemolc, and Ostara, Beltane, Samhain, and Yule . . . but oh do those festivals look different, in their meat, in our tradition, than they might for others. Our Ostara certainly does not look like what I see others writing about, with their Ostara festivals, for example, and our Imbolc has nary a reference to Brigid to be seen – to the point that I was surprised this year when people were connecting Her to that festival. Beltane is all about the Wild Hunt for us, as is Samhain straight through to Yule, and Yuletide is not a single day, or even a collection of three or nine, but a whooping twelve day affair set aside to honor various gods, the Disir, and other spirits. The second caveat I feel obliged to put forward is: I am never not aware of the fact that we are mortal animals upon the physical world, and a part of it. There is a strong embracing of this fact that is a thread within the foundation of my relationship with Poseidon. Environmental awareness is a Thing with Him, and that certainly informs my view of everything I come into contact with.When I am asked, “Would you consider your path as deity-centered or earth-centered?” my answer is, deity-centered. Thanks to TPW’s comment, I realized that from an outside perspective, that may not be obvious. Why? Well, even when I’m speaking specifically of my Poseidon festivals and devotions, what am I talking about? In early spring, I honor Poseidon Phytalmios, focusing upon the season of growth returning; in April I honor Poseidon Hippios, with a focus upon equines world-wide; in July there’s the Running of the Bulls with Poseidon Taureos firmly in mind, an exhausting, somber, heart-wrenching observance that is more vigil than festival; in August I honor Poseidon of the Ponds as the dry season claims my region; the honoring of Poseidon and the Rainmakers when the First Rain returns, which necessarily does not have a set date – these are my festivals, this is my religious calendar, these are what set the rhythm to my religious year. Between that and the focus I have upon environmental awareness, the opposition I have toward our disposable consumer habits, the disdain I have toward the idea that we are better/more important/more evolved/superior than our co-inhabitants, one could be forgiven in assuming that my path is earth-centered.
And that’s how I arrived at this question: is the dichotomy of earth-centered or deity-centered possibly a false dichotomy? Is it possible that it is, at the least, not as useful a dichotomy as we tend to think it is? If people look at my calendar and my festivals, at the focus of what I do, and are going to decide that I’m earth-centered (as if that’s a dirty word) when in fact absolutely every thing I do spiritually, ritually, is informed by my connection to Poseidon, is an outgrowth of o/Our relationship, His guidance, the things that are important to Him, it makes me wonder so many things. What do others mean when they say “earth-centered?” Where do people get off, looking at the bits people choose to share, and deciding for those people what they ought to be called or should not be called? Where does the dividing line between earth-centered and deity-centered fall for other people? For myself, I’m not sure the dichotomy is one that has no useful place in my practice – it’s all part of one tradition, all part of one path – my path. Keeping in mind my caveats, because I honestly cannot see how it could be any different for me, and obviously I cannot help but see things through my own particular lens. I suspect that the dichotomy here is not as useful across the broad as we might originally think, and it’s been interesting contemplating that. I’m interested in hearing others’ thoughts.