Navratri: Keeping It Real

Confession:  I suck at multi-day holidays.

The plan was simple, because I know myself pretty well, and over planning is the fastest way to get me overwhelmed. Not planning at all, especially with what feels like new endeavors, is just as bad: the end result is I don’t do the thing. A plan, then, must be simple, and approachable, and I thought it was. Read. Light a candle, offer a drink, and read. I printed out some images, cleaned the shrine, and offered what I had to offer, and for the first two days, I read.  I had seven chapters left in the Devimahatmya, and nine nights in which to read. I’d be working for most of those nights, so I even adapted to my schedule. The bulk of my Navratri observance would take place after work, during the day time.

Three ‘nights’ into it, and the reading fell to the wayside. Candle lighting kept happening, and a moment or two spent at the shrine. The last few days wound up coinciding with an unexpected three days off from work; I’ll read the rest of the book then, I thought. Perfect.

I’m still only on chapter five, and I have to admit: I don’t want to finish it. I’m enjoying the writing, enjoying the commentary, but it’s more than that. Unlike every other piece of writing that could fall under the heading ‘lore’ I’ve read, from a variety of times and places, this one . . . I don’t want it to end. The reading of it, the reading of Devi’s tale, it feels . . . Welcoming and comfortable. But that doesn’t do the feeling justice either. I am enamoured, and smitten, I think. It feels like a visit that is passing too quickly, with someone I feel like I barely know and also am immediately comfortable with. There is that feeling of rapport, that makes time fly by.

The autumnal Navratri has come and gone. I’ve gained, I think, from it. Wonder of wonder, because I’m only making myself give what I can (of my time, of my resources) and deciding that that is enough (because it has to be), I am not mentally flogging myself over this. I am the child, scraped knees, grass stains, and a mangled offering of wildflowers, half-wilted and crushed in my hands.  This, I’m told, is good enough.


#YT paganchallenge week 4 video(s)!

In which I talk a lot (a lot-a lot) about my religious calendar with Poseidon. I pre-recorded these weeks ago; I am intending to edit out longer pauses in the future, but, you know, this is how I talk and I’m not entirely interested in making myself look or sound more polished than I am.

Enjoy! Or, you know, don’t. Long.  Did I mention long? Long.

Festivals — the benefits of building new ones — TPE March week 4

Wk 4- Mar. 23- Any writing for the letters E or F – I am keeping this familiar format on week 4 for those who have joined me from the Pagan Blog Project.


While it may be true that Poseidon is enjoying a bit of popularity right now (which is ridiculously exciting for me, considering that other people’s interactions with their gods are none of my business. I can’t help but be on the sidelines here all YAY POSEIDON!!!) one cannot argue that He does not have the following that some deities have. Since I can’t imagine being a god is a popularity contest, mostly I don’t care — I’m not worried about how He feels about these things because they are by and large beneath Him. He is very much  ‘those who need to find Me, and those I call to Me will find and hear Me,’ in His approach; I’ve never felt the need to be a priestess to Him in that sense, in the going out and preaching about Him and trying to gather people to Him. He doesn’t need me for that. We’re good.

 I would be lying through my teeth, though, if I said that compared with the amount of rituals and festivals and what-all other People have, the seeming lack of festivals that center around Poseidon didn’t irk. I’ve written before about having realized, almost as soon as I started looking toward Hellenismos (especially Athenian flavored influences) that what I was really after was a Poseidon-centered ‘wheel of the year’, and coming to know that if that’s what I wanted, that I would have to build one for myself. I’ve written about how I was annoyed at first — and yes, irked for His benefit, even if He wasn’t. “If it needed to survive, it would have,” He reasoned. Poseidon. He’s very Zen, I tell you.

I’ve also written about my various rituals and festivals for Poseidon. Many of them are based on some part or another of o/Our relationship, and won’t apply to other people’s experiences, but a few (the Vigil for the Bulls, the celebration of Poseidon Hippios, Poseidon of the Ponds, Poseidon of the Mysteries) are less specific to u/Us and either draw upon historical connections He’s had which we know about, or are inspired by contemporary understanding and connections. (You can check out my Poseidon Festivals page to follow links to write-ups about some of them, but I have to admit, I’m not very diligent when it comes to writing about them. I’ve observed far, far more than I’ve actually shared.)

I suspect I’ve also already written about the benefit I’ve found in creating the festivals for Him that I have. I know I’m not alone in either the creating of festivals nor in the finding benefit from doing so, but now and again it hits me that my stance has totally changed from where it was way back when. I was annoyed, not just at the seeming disregard for this .  . . well, awesome . . . god, but also because of the work I had to put in to developing my own ‘wheel of the year.’ I was annoyed that I couldn’t just dust off Athen’s ancient calendar and plug it into my life, like so many others seemed to be able to do. (I know, though, that even those following more ‘popular’ gods still felt [and feel!] a desire to create new festivals, despite all that) Now, though? Now I am so grateful that this was the case . . . because the festivals that mark my year are living, breathing things that resonate with my soul, that celebration Poseidon’s presence in my life, because they allow me to honor Him regularly, and they help remind me that He is more than just the narrow bits of Himself that He is able to share with me.

Our path is one of healing, of compassion, of awareness. I’m not involved with horses on any sort of an immediate level, yet taking time to honor Poseidon Hippios, to honor the sacred connection He has with equines, is important. The Vigil for the Bulls is more immediately connected to the path I walk with Him, but even that stretches me to hold more of Him in my view.

I don’t think it’s necessary that one must build a whole year’s worth of observances, rituals, or festivals toward worshiping a god or spirit in order to reap the benefits of creating something so intimate, so meaningful. That’s simply what I felt a need to do, something that I wanted to have. I do think it’s important to create at least one.  You could argue that it’s enough to take existing festivals and making them into something personally relevant. That’s completely acceptable and works, too — Beth and I have done that with Ostara, in a way, as our Ostara centers around honoring Bragi and Idunna. But, Ostara still comes with a number of the Ostara trappings and traditions — which we enjoy — and thus has a little less freedom that creating something whole hog.

Building a festival can be a rewarding, intimate experience, a special exchange between you and the god or spirit(s) in question. Depending on your tradition, it can be anything you need, want, or feel inspired to have it be — and it’s beautiful. Having something that uniquely caters to celebrating your relationship, or your understanding of the god(s) or spirit(s) in question can be deeply fulfilling. I know it has been for me, and I’m grateful these days, rather than annoyed, that this is the shape my calendar year has taken.

Calendars or, my year at a glance (the Pagan Experience week 8)

Wk 4- Feb. 23- Any writing for the letters C or – I am keeping this familiar format on week 4 for those who have joined me from the Pagan Blog Project.


I’ve got two calendars running through the year, here. One is the secular calendar. The second is a localized form of the Athenian calendar. Localized because I do not use the Hellenic Months Established Per Athens (or HMEPA) but rather, I use the Hellenic Months Establised Per Oregon (or HMEPO)  My months roughly synch up with the HMEPA months, but the start dates are set to the New Moon for my region, not for Athens.

Why do I used the Athenian months? Pure and simple: there’s always one month (sometimes two!) named for Poseidon. I wish that, in the beginning, I would have done like Hellenic Temple of Zeus, Apollon, and Pan does and name the months for the festivals I observed, but then most would be named Poseidon and that would be confusing! Nowadays, the Athenian months are simply familiar to me, so I keep them. But, as you’ll see, I pick and choose which ones I even acknowledge, and mostly it’s just that I know the festival or holy day in question is a part of that month, and not that the month means anything to me outside of that.

Because the path I’m on is a living, breathing, changing thing, I do like to revisit my religious calendar from time to time, to see what works, what doesn’t, what needs to be tweaked. Because 2015 is the year of Writing All the Things (three books, with a forth getting print ready is the goal), I’m letting myself off the hook with a lot of these — which is rather a good thing as I’m getting back to my center. Daily devotion — that is, bringing myself back on a daily basis to the center from which I lead my life — trumps monthly- and extended-Family devotion. This is a good reminder, a necessary reminder.

In the past, Beth and I have tried a number of things. We’ve tried being sticklers about dates (and sometimes we are). We’ve tried observing cross-quarter days on their astrological times rather than the calendar times. We’ve moved things around. We’re not interested in what something looks like so much as we’re interested in things working. We do what works for us. It’s our tradition, after all. And, her particular calendar will look a bit different from mine, because there are things she observes which I do not, and vice verse. So, this is me, mine.

Around January 1st we celebrate 12th Night. Because Yule proper does not happen on the same date from year to year, this is just an approximation. Because this is the end of Yule (though far from the end of Hunt Season for us) 12th Night is pretty relaxed. It’s immediate-family only. If I’m going to do any runecasting for the year to come, I do it on this night, and if I’m going to make any oaths for the coming year (Write All The Things!) this is when I make them.

Also sometimes in January, sometimes in February, I honor Poseidon Phytalmios. As mentioned previously, this is impossible to pin down. It happens when it happens.

Theogamia falls in the month of Gamelion, which corresponds with January/February, depending on when the extra month falls. This year, in my calendar, Theogamia falls on the 16th/17th of February. Here I mark the marriage of Zeus and Hera.

February 2nd is Ewemolc or Imbolc. We tend toward Ewemeolc here in our home, because sheep and fleece and spinning! This is a more labor-intensive day for Beth, granted, but it’s one I look forward to every year (and with Fiberwytch’s ever growing armory of spinning tools to cleanse, anoint, bless, thank, and pay homage to, one that I suspect I’ll help out with more and more)

February 2nd-3rd is our Feast for a Fallen King which Beth wrote about quite nicely a few years back.

February 9th marks my wedding anniversary. (When I exchanged vows, I was using the Athenian calendar exclusively, and that date fell upon Anthesterion 8th. I go back and forth about when I want to observe it, often making a small moment of it on both days. Due to unfortunately associations, February 8th is right out the window. I’ll admit that I like to observe it most on whichever day happens to be sooner, that year. I’m female. I can do that.

I’m not planning on doing much for Anthesteria this year beyond holding it in my mind — though I did last year and that felt off. This year the dates fall in the beginning of March. (My Sacred Marriage Triad is all off this year, thanks to Poseideon II!) My observance of this three day festival is pretty pick-and-choosey, admittedly. I honor Hermes and the dead, and I honor Dionysos and Ariadne/the Basilinnas, and I pretty much forgo all the vintner bits of the festival. It’s a ceremonial nod toward a day of the dead for e, as this is still thick in our Hunt Season, and in our household, the Veil is only ever gauzy anyway.

Bolverk’s Day is on March 17th. In our household we honor Bolverk and Gunnlod. We celebrate the creation of the Mead of Poetry, and the gift Odin makes of it to the gods (and inadvertantly, the world.)

We honor Idunna and Bragi at Ostara (March 20th this year).

We honor Loki on the 1st of April — though without tricks or foolery. I hate April Fool’s Day as such, but being able to honor Loki on this day turns it into something nice.

Sigrblot is on the 6th of April.

Poseidon Hippios is honored on the 8th, or on the day closest to the 8th on which I do not have to work.

We honor Jord on Earth Day because it fits.

Walpurgisnacht is the beginning of the “end” of Hunt Season for us. This observation has altered, sadly, as time goes on. Once we used to climb to the top of Spencer’s Butte, the tallest point in our valley . . . and then we made adjustments . . . and now the physical labor and the being away from home when we’re needed here make that aspect of this day not possible. So, we make a feast, and we celebrate and we are grateful for what the Hunt Season brings us, and what it leaves us with. We celebrate survival.

May Day on the 5th of May signals the end of the Hunt Season proper. Hunt Season is (and especially for Beth) is an on-duty season. It’s not about holy days and festivals and rituals. It’s about being on-call 24/7, not to Odin-her-Husband but to Odin, Lord of the Host. This is true for me, to a much, much smaller degree.

May 19th Queen Anne Bolyen’s Day. We apparently really go in for the somber days. May 19th marks the anniversary of Queen Anne’s execution. We honor her memory with a pilgrimage to our local rose garden, where we leave offerings for her, read aloud prayers and poems we find and people send us. Queen Anne is one of Beth’s disir, a group of spirits we call The Queens, though over time she’s become an important figure in my life, as well. There is much to admire about Anne Bolyen.

June 19th-21st is a three day festival/workfest that centers around our local Sheep and Wool festival. Because there is no demarcation between “secular” and “religious” life for us — it’s all life!! — this is both religiously focused and a lot of mundane work. We kick the weekend off with a libation to Frigga and Poseidon. (Not so much in conjunction with one another as one and also this other one.)  Then we shop like mad for the store. We psych ourselves up for the Fleece Show. We get what we need. We come home. We start washing the heel out of fleeces. We prayer for a sunny day (not yet a given in our neck of the woods by this time).

Vigil for the Bulls runs July 6th-14th. This is my “counter-Yule” festival that coincides with the Paplona’s famous Running of the Bulls.  This is  one of my “working” festivals – it’s largely about being present and being aware and offering healing, about aligning oneself on purpose with suffering and offering what one can. It’s many nights of libations, sacrifice, blood, and, at the end, funerary rites — by the river when I can, at home at our hearth shrine when I can’t. Honored here are Poseidon, the Dioskoroi, Dionysos, Indra, and, of course, the Bull.

Aphrodisia falls on July 22nd

The full moon of August I honor my first meeting with Poseidon, and I hail Him as Poseidon Salibureous.  In August I also honor Poseidon of the Ponds. Ideally on the 8th of the month, but it’s really whatever date ends up working for me to get my butt to either the Delta Ponds or part of the Wetlands. We also generally do something, albeit small, for Lammas.

By September we’re gearing up for the “work months” to start again. We celebrate our birthdays (Beth’s is the 22nd, mine is the 24th, and we generally do a three day celebration. Please note that by celebration we generally mean movie-watching marathon, bookstore browsing, a meal out at one of our favorite cafes, and possibly too much wine. We’re mellow that way) (oh, and also cake). On Sept 29th  we mark Winterfinding as well as Valfather’s Day. In years past this would also be Feast of Treats but we moved that to Samhain proper. In our tradition, this is when the Hunt starts to gather. Oh, they’re here and there throughout the year, but this is when it starts to be about business again.

October brings us Samhain. We’ve gone back and forth with this one, too — because honoring our Beloved Dead is . . .  not complicated, exactly. But there’s our immediate family, and our extended family, and one is more relaxed/intimate, and the other is more formal. (Not formal, really, just more so in comparison-to). So, we mark Samhain with the Feast of Treats in honor of our Beloved Animal dead (read: immediate family) and then either later in the day or on November 1st we hold a Dumb Supper for our Beloved Human dead (read: less-immediate family). Samhain also kicks off for real-for real the start of the Hunt Season for us.

November 11th is Einhenjar Day.

And then, December!

December 4th is Beth’s wedding anniversary. December 6th is St. Nicholas’ feast day (or, as I like to call him, Poseidon Nikolaos) which I’ve adopted as a celebration of Poseidon for reasonsDecember 7th is Tulya’s E’en – a Scandinavian folk holiday in which all the trolls are thought to be released from underground; a good time to sain (bless/smudge) property and dwellings) prior to the dangerous nights of Yule. December 13th is Lussinata. The day before the Solstice is Modranacht, and then it’s Yule. In our tradition Yule and Poseidea have become largely one in the same. Poseidon has taken an active role in the Hunt (and considering the purpose behind the Hunt, as we see it, and the involvement of horses in the Hunt, I’m not terribly surprised).

Not listed above are things like Hekate’s Deipnon, at the dark moon of each month, which I mark in my own way. In my understanding, Hekate is not important to *me*, but She is important to Poseidon, and I keep this day because He asks me to do so. I’m fond of Her, and I like to think She is fond of me, as well, but I can’t say no to Poseidon when He says, “Hey, honor this One, She matters to Me.”, and the Full Moons which are Working Days but not really holidays.



No Guilt Year!

For many, today is the beginning of the Hellenic festival of Anthesteria, a three-day affair honoring many things including the first flowers of the year, the wine harvest, and the dead. It’s a festival honoring Dionysos, Hermes, Ariadne, among others. Originally it found it’s way onto my calendar because it was important to people who were, at the time, important to me, and because at least some of the gods involved came across as being important to Poseidon. There are bits of the festival that really resonate with me – honoring the dead, for example. Observing the importance of Hieros Gamos, for another example. Anthesteria has been, almost since the beginning of its placement upon my personal religious calender, The Hellenic festival that had nothing at all to do with Poseidon that still managed to feel . . . proper, in being on my personal religious calendar. Even the observance of the marriage of Zeus and Hera did not feel that natural, that familiar, and outside of all the festivals I hold for Poseidon, Theogamia is the next most important Hellenic festival I observe.

This year, I’m not marking Anthesteria. I hadn’t planned to. I can’t say I forgot it was coming – I mark my anniversary on the 9th of February, but the year I gave Him my vows, it fell on the 8th of Anthesterion, so I’m always aware of that month’s approach. This year, I’m scaling way, way back. I’m returning to what feels comfortable for me, what feels more authentically me, in where I’m coming to worship from. Elaborate festivals, even private, simple but formal ones, do not work for me. Not this year, not right now. I decided, in part of the Giving Up Guilt, that I would not celebrate a festival that I did not feel, stirring in my heart. I’m already torn about this, because I do believe that we need not always feel like it, when we stand before our shrines, our altars, our gods, and give to Them of ourselves. The gods know there are days when I’ve wanted only to be left to my own, but that does not happen, not in my life, not anymore. He is always, always there.

Last year for Theogamia, I gave Zeus and Hera offerings of wine and simple pastry. . . and I tore into myself over such a paltry offering. This year, They were given wine and such adoration and appreciation for Their touch upon my life, and it was beautiful.

This year, our hearth shrine, which doubles as our holiday shrine, is still set up for the Hunt Season. This year, I feel caught up with that instead, as though Anthesteria is so very far removed, far away, not inconsequential exactly, but almost. This year I feel wrapped up tightly, bound to my Husband, bound to my Father, brought home, held close. This year, I want only those that touch my soul and stir my blood. This year, the thought of spending time with Others away from my Hearth feels much like venturing forth while unwell. Perhaps it’s simply that it is falling too close to my anniversary, and I don’t want it caught up with it. Perhaps They have reasons for urging my focus more tightly ‘homeward’. Perhaps Poseidon is super-serious when He says, “Back to basics,” this time. I guess we’ll see. But in the meantime, there will be no guilt. Guilt is useless.

Hail Poseidon of Growth!

I was going to get stuff written up about this last night; however serious coughing and a not-treated-exactly-right (maintenance exercise? HA!) back injury from October conspired to see me in bed with sleepy making medicine instead. Cannot type like that. So, hopefully it’ll be up tomorrow. Though, tomorrow will be AFTER the ritual. Ah well.

But I did want to mention it today, this morning, just in case anyone else feels so inclined. It’s today only because I say so; it need not be. Here, where I live, the signs of spring are already out, and so, this is when I observe this day. 


Glad Yuletide!

Yule has only just begun, in our tradition — beginning on the eve of the Solstice with Mother Night. Yule is settling in with its general flare of “wow, nothing happens when we don’t plan for it and make it happen, in Midgard, who knew?” which is what often happens. My resolve to not work the days around the Solstice didn’t make it to this month, apparently — instead, I’m working over time. The upside in the boss is actually giving me Christmas off, which is both more than what the ex-boss would have done, and is nice because the buses don’t run and so I don’t have a surprise 7 mile hike that day, rain or no rain. I’m not digging into myself as I might have, years ago — that causes nothing good to happen, and certainly it does not cause the changes to happen. But I’m newly resolved to have those days off next year *and* to see about working less in the retail arena, period.

That said, so far it hasn’t been bad, exactly. Work being as busy as it’s been has pushed me into the realm of altered state of consciousness pretty constantly. We’re beginning a wreath tradition (though technically the “wreath” we have now is less wreath and more cluster of evergreen boughs — our ceiling is too low, the hearth-shrine is too high, wreaths are generally too big) of one for one part of the year, one for the other, and burning the previous one (once we work out what to burn said wreath *in*. May need to get a grill after all). The new greenery is pretty, and the house smells nice.

Beth and I are sitting down and creating a list of the things we want to be doing *next* year for this time of year, and the goal is to have it all planned out by November. Previous lists have failed because we’ve made paper and pen lists. This one is going electronic so that it’s easier to find/not misplace.

Unexpected but welcomed devotional work for Odin cropped up yesterday, and that was nice all around. Grueling, and I’m left this morning sort of bewildered and dazed, but I’ll take that, too. He also planted a story-concept in my brain, and we’ll see how that blossoms.

I was reminded that I’m not exactly disassociated from His Hunt, either — two nights ago I dreamed about a stupid family that accidentally immolated themselves (they had candles on their tree, and then they had wreaths around their necks, and then they kept getting too close to the open flame. There were a couple of times when the flame was extinguished, and then eventually it spread too fast, and the with the screams and burning and dying — see? STUPID people) that ended with me in a small room with thunder reverberating all around, because it wasn’t thunder it was hooves, and I woke up terrified, but easily set it aside because, I am His. If it be His will to set His Horde upon me, there’s nothing I can do, and nothing I really want to do, and if it is not His Will to do this, They are not going to dare do more than frighten me. During the Witching Hour, on the morn’ of the Solstice, that was good enough logic for me.

Last night I dreamed of high places, also the second night local buttes have been in my dreams. Dare I suspect a certain fey creature trying to gain my attention?

Must get writing.


Once upon a time, I would have seen my lack of preparations as failure and I would have wallowed in self-pity. It’s still failure to a degree — I have failed at being prepared, or of even naming the things I’d like to do this holy tide, but that makes me a failure neither at being a polytheist nor at being a human being. Shit happens. Wallowing serves no purpose, and at the end of the day, it is *all* about keeping Them foremost in my mind. If I’m not failing at that, then I’m not really failing.

Poseidea came and went . . .

. . . and I did not mark the day.

I don’t feel badly about this. Surprisingly, actually. I held the bare minimum of devotions that I hold for Poseidon every day (“Good morning, here’s Your tea, I love You.”) I did not even burn a candle for Him. I didn’t realize until the following day that the 8th of the lunar month had come and gone — Beth holds seidhr on the 9th of the lunar month. I had stopped paying attention to the Athenian months this year, and I don’t feel badly about that. I go back and forth, and I go back and forth mostly because I like there being a month name after a festival named after Poseidon. I like that it coincides with the Hunt Season. Nevertheless, I still go back and forth with it. I pay attention to the moon cycle, so lunar months make sense to me, but using the Athenian months when I honor so few of those festivals, doesn’t really. My religious calendar looks as it should — it’s very, very Poseidon-centric, and I adore that. Still, how could I, of all people, let Poseidea come up and slip past, unmarked and unremarked upon? Whether going on the secular calendar, or the lunar, the 8th is done and gone with nary a nod from me. And I don’t feel badly about it. What gives?

For one thing: I’ve given myself a pass for this December. This month, I leave behind the year of first after my grandparents passing. For another, the day job is a retail job and people turn into consuming monsters. For another ‘nother thing: my understanding of Poseidea is this: it was a time for people to come together and honor Poseidon, specifically. And, this is something that I strive to do, every day.

I understand the purpose of festivals and holy days being observed by one who does not pay regular worship to a particular god or goddess as a time during which one could “touch in” with said deity. I understand the allure of Poseidea for someone who does not fit Poseidon into their devotions, for whatever reason, and yet feels a pull to include Him at some point, for some reason. There are festivals and holy days wherein I do that with others — those few Athenian festivals that I do mark, I mark for that very reason.

Poseidea this year fell on the 10th of December, which is both my grandfather’s birthday, and the day we buried my grandmother. My Love is a generous and compassionate god. That this festival date of His was not even on my radar that day does not cause Him displeasure, nor me His disfavor.

Am I thrilled that it slipped my mind? No, I can’t say that I am. I can say that what I’m not, is horrified. And that’s a very amazing feeling. Once upon a time this would have been great ammunition against myself. Now, it’s an opportunity to practice compassion and contemplation.

It Begins


It begins in the night,
half the world away as dawn gives way to day
and is over in the blink of an eye
until the next day
and the next day
day upon day
a dance of danger
of life racing
towards the end.
Adrenaline and fear
excitement and daring
of the air charged with the promise of violence.
Blood awaits at the finish line
day upon day
and the next day
and the next day
until the adrenaline snaps
and the blood is shed
and we are gored to the bone
our flesh torn to ribbons
our blood running in rivers,
and it is over in the blink of an eye.

It comes back to Love

I’m beginning the process of bracing myself for the coming festival — and this one requires bracing for. I’m not sure festival is the right word, really, for what it is. Next week, coinciding with the San Fermin bullrun (popularly known as the Pamplona Running of the Bulls) I’ll be holding my seven day vigil, and it’s a somber time. I thought, when the idea was a small grain inside my head, that this observance would be about angry indignation over the treatment and ritual slaughter of the ill-fated animals, and there is certainly that. But, things are not simply, and traditions are important to those that they are important to, and you cannot dismiss them just because they are not yours without giving them due consideration and without acknowledging that things that mean things to people mean things to people. To dismiss it lightly as barbaric, as whatever word choice you want to use here, is to make yourself no better than those who dismiss you lightly. Look, I’m pagan. My tradition is fairly new, is an amalgamation of all sorts of things that make no sense outside of my world. I am not going to dismiss what others are doing. There’s a whole industry that has been built up around the tourism of this event, and you know, it’s akin to people kvetching about McDonalds or Walmart or other such consumerism-based things — there are things terribly wrong with how the world *is* right now, but at the same time, a town’s economy is of vital importance to that town; a family’s income is of vital importance to that family, and we all do the best we can, even when our best sucks and our options suck even more. Moving to a place where people take things like rodeos seriously — they sound silly, in New England. Out here? People mean business — has granted me more compassion, I suppose. Which doesn’t mean I *like* it, and in fact, the idea of ritual murder that is not rooted is the sacred leaves me deeply disturbed. It only means that things are not simple. When are they?

I read as much as I can stand to read, thematically, and then I take a break. I’m trying to firm up some structure to this week long affair, but it’s largely open. Fasting will be involved. Energy work. Funerary offerings and rites, at the close. I’ll be marking the one year anniversary of my grandfather’s death two days into it, as if there’s not enough sobriety built into the event. Gods honored during the festival will be Poseidon (duh) but also Zeus, Hera, Dionysos, and the Dioskouroi, as well as other spirits. Mostly, mostly it’ll be sitting vigil.

I’m thinking about this, and thinking about the Small Thing Poseidon asked of me, and wondering, how? How could I worry about such a small thing when this looms on the horizon? I’m thinking about Love, about giving, about Gebo, about Poseidon, about people who Love their gods, about common threads is mysticism that transcends religions, and about what draws me to read/watch/study those people. I’m thinking about how much I love my gods, how much I love Poseidon, and how much I am willing to ache with the awareness that I hold, because He asks me to. And I will. Of course I will.