2015 was like 2014 in that it’s been a year of minimal devotional activity. (Minimalistic? Simple? Simple.) It’s been a year of simple devotional activity. My planned calendar looks a lot more impressive than how it actually pans out. Most of my days for Poseidon (which, to be frank, are the only one that I’m all that interested in) are ‘sit and be with Me’ days. There are libations, minor offerings, incense — mostly it’s just time spent in communion, which makes them not that different from every other day, just maybe with a bit more focus, with a bit more of a goal that goes beyond u/Us. (There are other days on my calendar that are important, but they are almost all of them unique to my particular path, or otherwise important to me because they are important to someone I care about).
I spent many years walking a path as a devotee of Poseidon’s and of Odin’s feeling torn about December, long before I learned that Poseidon’s main holy day in many places centered on or around the Winter Solstice. I knew that the Athenian month of Poseidon more-or-less correlated with our December* and so their main Poseidon festival (of which we know very little) likely happened then, but I did not realize that that was true through much of the Hellenic world. December was a time that I felt ought to be a time I focused on Pops, and I do, I do — but Poseidon has always, always, always felt . . . more reachable, more immediate, more gloriously wild and feral and . . . I don’t have the words. Not more present, precisely. Maybe more present in a particular way? Just, I guess, a part of the season in a way that I could not discount, and eventually I ceased trying to discount it. Eventually we just added Him to our Yule observations, decided it was fitting in a household made up of wives of the gods, and called it good.
And then I discovered Noel Robertson’s Poseidon’s Festivals at the Winter Solstice. (Which begs the question: why do we need what we are led to suspect through observance and interactions be reinforced by what has come before? Especially when forging new relationships and new paths, why must verification or validation make us feel that moment of ‘oh, ah-ha, look, there’s a reason behind this experience I’m having or this intuition I’m having outside of the power in question leading me to it, which makes it be real, be valid.‘ I hate that I do that.)
Today I observe Poseidea. In my religious landscape, this is not the biggest big deal festival or observance. Or, rather, it’s not the biggest, big deal Poseidon festival. That honor belongs to the Vigil. So maybe it’s really that Poseidea is more intimate, less work-y? I dunno.
Today, He said, it was time to get the Matsya picture up. I have a table that’s slated to become my Indian deities shrine space — currently it’s housing the Durga stuff and my tray. I’d thought the Matsya painting, which is my Vishnu representation, would go there, but silly me, it’s just too big, and Poseidon said, repeatedly, that He did not want a separate shrine to be made. An extension, sure, because I needed more surface space, but a space set apart was not acceptable to Him.
So I cleaned off the shrine, and oiled the wood, and oiled the horse, and washed things down, and gathered up more sand, stick, and ash into my collection jar, and poured out new sand, and spritzed with holy water, and fondled the various treasures I have, and hung up the framed picture. (Painting? It’s a painting reprint, and it’s on a flat surface, but it’s texture-y and good, thick paper, and I don’t know what to call it.) I need to reposition the image within the frame but it’s curly from being rolled up, so I’m letting it be and I’ll fiddle with it later. (It’s a weird size, 12.75 x 15).
I’m not displeased. He joked, gently, teasingly, “There. A year and three months later, and you’ve done one thing to start along this exploration I want from you.” Which isn’t quite true. I’ve poked my toes into study. I’ve purchased books (oh, noes, not books!). I’ve (with the help of a friend) begun the gathering of bare necessities for proper worship. I’ve entered the idea of seeking local temple spaces to visit. There’s no censure, only a celebration of the ways in which I do things, the ways that I have to sidle up to things to not get spooked, and there is love.
It is both jarring to have a picture of Vishnu hanging over my Poseidon shrine, where I’ve been reluctant to hang any Poseidon images because they’ve been all wrong (save for the painting I’ve had commissioned, which is over my bed, because it’s minemineMINE), and also not jarring at all, because the picture is “right” in a way that no Poseidon image ever has been.
Blessed Poseidea to you and yours. Oh, and Glad Yule!
*WHY did we not change the names of the months that are number names when we changed their placement? Why, for all that is holy, why??*