A while back I shared with you what my basic, day-to-day devotional routine looked like — my morning prayer complete with tea offering, a mindful midday stop and check in, and my sometimes on, sometimes off evening ritual of ‘closing the shrine’ and saying goodnight.
I didn’t talk much about the yoga, that was my first every conscious devotional activity dictated by Poseidon and give over to Him, which lead to my having a very strong foundation of Poseidon being “very Zen.” Yes. Before my experiences with Him could become rooted in the Hellenic past, we’d established that w/We are to, as Odin would eventually come to say, use the tools that are available to u/Us. Yoga was available, and oh did it work.
I didn’t talk much about the knitting, or the walking, both of which end up becoming meditation time, and work wonders for quieting my mind so that I can connect. I did’t talk much about the various Poseidon festivals that I hold, that are more often than not simple ritual and less “festival”, and which are the instances in my life when my connecting with Him is inspired and/or includes elements of past worshippers, of past festivals, of past cultic influences. This is especially interesting this year as He pushes for a less Hellenic focus and is encouraging me to spread my interest across the Mediterranean.
Today, though, I want to talk about the one devotional act that I do that typically does not even attempt to look like it has any connection whatsoever to do with Poseidon. The yoga I can point at and say, well, the connection is there because He is why I even started to seriously pursue yoga. Walking and knitting are just another form of quieting the mind by physical activity, similar enough to goal of the asanas for me to be a sort of yoga-alternative. Lighting candles, burning incense, reciting prayers, doing energy work — these are all pretty obvious “devotional activities”. They’re important, and I adore them, and they enrich my life, they help bring me closer to Him.
Fictional writing remains the most important devotional act that I perform on a regular basis.
I have a strong connection to Odin, who has an even stronger connection to words and inspiration, who could be seen as having a vested interest in things like storytelling. But it is not Odin who is on my mind when I’m sitting and writing. It’s Poseidon. I don’t see Him as my muse — I’m not one of those writers who even has a relationship with any sort of being I would call “muse”. The stories come as they come, sometimes in what feels like a download to my brain, sometimes with one character or more sitting and talking to me as I write, sometimes as a vague concept that I want to explore. There’s no one way.
I have a number of stories written with Poseidon in mind, whether inspired by the stories we know from Hellenic or Roman sources, or by a conversation with Him, or what have you. Most of my writing has nothing at all to do with Him. Despite this, there is not one bit of fiction writing that I do that does not serve to draw me closer to Him, to move me steps further along my path with Him. In part, it’s an honoring of who I am, a nurturing of this one thing that has been with me since I could form words upon a page. In part, it’s whatever it is in me that allows the stories to come, an opening that is crucial in allowing my connection with Him to stay open and strong and fluid.
Years and years ago, for a brief while, I decided, in order for my writing to truly honor Him, I must write about Him. Non-fiction. Factual. And while I do enjoy writing about Him, that writing is not what keeps the openness open. It’s the story telling that does it. The sitting and writing words that may not mention sea or ocean, horses or earthquakes, Greece or paganism, Poseidon, or any gods at all.
For far too long I worried about that. Not whether this was valid or not (because it did what it did, I knew it was valid) but, I worried about that line. Where was the line that divided what was true (my interactions with my gods, etc.) from what was fiction (stories told to me by characters)? It took me an embarrassingly long amount of time to reach the conclusion that, at least in my approach, “fiction” is nothing more than a marketing tool. I won’t say that all “my” stories are “real”. What I say is, it doesn’t matter. In my approach, in my world view, stories are stories are stories, and part of their magic is their ability to be both real and not. In my world view, “my” characters are spirits, just like any other spirit, that may or may not interact with other people. At the end of the day, it’s not important to me to discern which category this one or that one belongs in. (We do like our boxes, don’t we?)
Should I be uncomfortable that the most important devotional act that I perform to help maintain a right relationship with Poseidon does not, at a glance, seemingly have anything at all to do with Him? I don’t think so. Truly, it drives home how important it is to my spiritual well being that I continue to write. I don’t have to write every day — indeed, my writing schedule works best as a single day of multiple thousand words toward any given project — which leaves me time during the week to pursue other things, as well. But, I know that I can fall out of my daily devotional activities (and I do; the tea sharing is the most consistent) and be more or less okay — that is, our relationship and communication does not suffer. Skip a week or more of writing? I suffer. Our communication suffers. My ability to hear, to connect, to feel open, suffers.
Story telling is a huge part in my maintaining a right relationship, with my spiritual self, with the spiritual world, and, most importantly, with Poseidon. It is, because of o/Our history, because of the established relationship, inherently a part of the foundation of w/Who w/We Are, and yet, at a glance? At a glance, it seems to have no connection whatsoever to Poseidon. Yet another wonderful example of not letting ‘should’ and ‘seeming’ hem you in. Bring your gods into your life, and celebrate what you have to offer Them. Tell the world how and where the connections are made, in what you do and Who you worship — don’t let people tell you what those connections are, and do not wait on the world to inform you what is or is not acceptable or authentic or valid. These are our connections to forge and find and nurture, and no one else’s.