Twenty years. I’ve been at this whole involved-with-gods thing for twenty years at this point, tending a shrine space just a wee bit less. You’d be forgiven if you thought that by know I’d have some of this shit down.
This week, some things came together. One: I had some time on my hands to sit and do little beyond recover from surprise!toe surgery. (Why are all my surgeries surprises?) Two: I realized I still had a growing discontent with how things with devotional practices for Poseidon- and Vishnu-with-Poseidon were going (or not going, as the case may be.) Three: I was reminded that aniconic representations of deities appeal to me, and that even when icons are what’s being used, I prefer theriomorphic over anthropomorphic. Four: Beth made me a creature for my birthday that has become my hands-on Poseidon figure plushie thing, and yes, I’m going to make outfits for Him.
I welcome Vishnu into my awareness, my practice, my life. I welcome anyone that Poseidon reveals as important to Him, and the tenderness with which Others came, once that had been opened, cannot be denied. I thought, when He first mentioned Him, Them, that it would have to be all done just so. Properly. With respect and just . . . properly.
And I fumbled. And faltered. Withdrew, because I was expected to be someone else, other than I am. Vishnu and I had a sweet back and forth, centered around felines, around Luna, around other spirits, and we were able to find a common ground, a common language, a meeting point. I realized I had to let go of the study, that I needed experience, and then I would build upon it. Slowly. Organically. Formality for formality’s sake is a sure-fire way to get me to flee.
I still wasn’t comfortable with approach Him at the shrine. The shrine had become unrecognizable, and we were all dissatisfied with it. I was supposed to be inviting Him in, and instead we were all going out to some random public place to meet up and talk over the din as best we could.
I stumbled upon this image quite by accident, and more things clicked into place. I’m trying to find the artist – if anyone recognizes it, please let me know. I’ve only been able to find it on tumblr and deviantart, and there’s no attribution, and it’s — well, look at it.
It also made me realize: this is my way in, this is my path into touching in with/relating to Vishnu. It’s the same way I needed to go with Odin, and it’s not quite the same at all, but . . . the fierce protector, the super-powerful, and super-gentle at the same time. I need that. I need the massive to be approachable.
Poseidon does that with me, too. Those moments when He is this huge, massive, beyond reckoning giant presence, held utterly still so as to not crush, not destroy, not obliterate. I need to feel my smallness, in light of Their immensity. It’s different, with all of Them, but that is a thread woven through each relationship.
I offered Him tea this morning, Vishnu-with-Poseidon. I hadn’t been; Poseidon suggested a while ago that the morning tea was our thing, or that’s how I read it. Really, I suspect He was more possessive about the cup, and a bit about the order. Or, He was possessive about the ritual, and in the time sense He’s come to see that drawing lines between “This is Mine and not His,” is something I can’t deal with if, at the same time, He is insisting They are less different than not. Poseidon got the first bit of the tea, and Vishnu the second. I offered Poseidon His, and drank from it as is our custom. I offered Vishnu-with-Poseidon His, and did not drink from it, as that will not be our custom. His offering bowl had cat fur along the outer rim. “That’s part of being here,” I said, as I wiped it away. It will not be pristine, it will only be the best that we are able to produce.
I felt more at peace with this whole adventure, this morning, after offering Vishnu tea along with Poseidon, than I have during all of this development.
Though maybe He’s just looking forward to getting His own creature-plushie-doll made by Beth?