Sitting with heavy

Back in 2008, I broke one of the first oaths I made to Poseidon.

The specifics are not important. In 2007, my beloved Angel died. There were other things going on, and I did not react well. I seized upon a loophole and held fast.

Poseidon has pressed for continually growing awareness with me. He’s pressed for me to be able to hold Him in my mind both as my Beloved and as my God, and this is sometimes not as easy to manage as you might expect. Our culture’s dominant approach to religion — something that other people do for you, something that you go to set place to partake of, and then return home from — does not prepare you much for a close and personal, intimate relationship with the Gods.  (For the record, I’m not poo-pooing on Christianity here;this is something that I suspects  our culture fails for many of them, too.)  I have a hard time with this, on a day to day level, even now, and so my default is to approach Him as my Beloved. It has helped to address Him as my King and my God, but  it’s still something I need to pay attention to in order to accomplish, and for the most part, it’s something He continually encourages. I suspect that I’ll never have it 100% down, and that’s just part of living with Him.

At the time of my gleefully throwing myself through loopholes, He expressed understanding and unending leniency. There was no censure, and no correction. And there hasn’t been, so much, in all the years since. A small amount of “that was a really rough time,” but beyond that, nothing.

The other day, it was apparently on my mind or on His mind or both, and we got onto the topic again. He gifted me with a heavy truth.  There is still no censure, and there is still complete leniency on His part, but for once He drew a distinction between Himself as my Beloved and as my God. “I understood, and I understand, and there is no animosity between u/Us,” He explained, “but you broke a vow to your God, and you will never be able to undo that.”

The consequence of having broken this vow is carrying the knowledge for my life that I broke this vow to Him. There is still no censure from Him, and really no sense of disappointment, save that He would spare me having done that if He could have. It isn’t even like my word then meant less to Him after that — He in generous and He is kind and He knows humanity better than I could have guessed at, way back when.

It’s a curious thing, sitting with this heavy thing. We’ve discussed this time and again, and this is the first time He’s ever brought me to understand that, no, those loopholes really weren’t loopholes, and I wasn’t as clever as I thought I was. There is such compassion from Him, and a careful watching to see how I took this revelation. It’s not comfortable — but it’s also years in the past and there’s nothing to be done for it. I mourn the loss of a certain type of innocence, perhaps, but beyond that — it’s ancient history, as far as that goes.

We are flawed. We make promises we can’t keep. We fuck up. I’m in this curious place of letting go of a need to constantly berate myself. I’m in this curious place of, I think, beginning to truly be able to apply compassion — deep, deep compassion — to myself, rather than at just a surface level. It’s extremely interesting.

I’m not sure if He would have revealed this, ever, if I hadn’t gone back on anti-depressants. I feel like my baseline blue has raised quite a bit higher. I feel stronger, more emotionally resilient, and I worry a bit how much He’s held back because I’ve been too fragile. Clearly not entirely, because He didn’t feel a need to not shove Vishnu-through-Poseidon at me O.o but still. Still.

I’ll be over here reeling at His distinction between Poseidon-my-Husband, and Poseidon-my-God (just because He never does that!!) and sitting with this heavy-but-not  revelation for a bit. Don’t mind me.

 

 

Today I’m going to talk to my doctor about needing help

and I don’t want to.

I don’t want to talk about how my anxiety has gotten so bad, and my depression has also gotten worse, that all my mental wherewithal goes into staying detached from what my mind tries to tell me about myself (worthless, pointless, hopeless, pathetic).

I don’t want to talk about how I have tools in place — the detachment that I practice, which isn’t disassociation so much as releasing any value-judgment, and  bringing in compassion, so I can look and name and see, and even feel, without being invested in the feeling; meditation; writing; following the Snugatru (all the snuggles!!) path — and that they’re no longer helping.

I don’t want to talk about how, when the anxiety reaches a fevered pitch, and becomes so overwhelming that my skin feels so tight, that I want to claw it off, or that I want to go run screaming into traffic (which I never do), or I have the impulse to bang my head into the wall (rare) or slam myself in the head with my own fists (less rare), not because I’m angry, and not because I want to hurt myself, but because everthing is spiralling out of control and nothing else is working.

I don’t want to talk about how, because I can name the tools that I have, that have worked before, that should still be working, and because I can explain why I feel they’re not working, because I can articulate what I’m experiencing so long as you catch me at a mellow point, that I feel I should be able to just try a little harder, put in a little more effort, and they will suddenly work again — and because that’s not working, it just feeds back into pathetic, worthless.

I don’t want to talk about how my standard follow up to ‘there’s no point to anything’ (‘so why not do what you want to do?’) isn’t working any more.

I don’t want to talk about how I’ve made choices in my life so that my limits are met, so that I can cope with becoming overwhelmed through knowing myself, and knowing those limits, and being aware and mindful — isn’t enough anymore.

I don’t want to talk about how , as an introvert, decompression time is essential, and none of my decompression activities are working any more. Not even sleep, because my dreams are as anxious ridden as my waking hours.

I don’t want to talk about picking fights with Beth because it’s a distraction from the activity in my mind, and feeling badly about picking a fight with her — because, I can see myself doing it while it’s happening, and they are never over things I’m actually truly upset about — feels better than how it feels in my head, on my own. And how is that for fucked up? Her being frustrated or angry or short with me is a huge step up from how I am on my own.

I don’t want to talk about needing help.

I would never, ever, ever expect anyone else to deal with this much internal interference on their own.  Why  do I expect it of myself?

I’m exhausted. There are things I want to do, things I want to get written, connections I want to make, courses I want to participate in. I can’t even think straight any more.

I don’t want to need help.

But I’m going. And I’m going to talk about these things — or Beth is going to talk for me.

See you on the flip side.

 

 

 

 

 

Take A Walk With Me 2

One of the tools I’m using to help me deal with anxiety, is walking. Specifically walking to the river once a week, but walking in general. Walking in general is a much loved way of getting  my body moving and my mind distracted and my breathing meditative. When I was a little girl, I would go on rambles with Gippy*, which almost always involved walking on a wall and venturing to one of the many bodies of water  in the town where I grew up. The destination never mattered so much (okay, it mattered when we were venturing to either the little store, or the store on the hill [basically, corner stores, but neither were on a corner, and so, the little store, or the store on the hill] because that usually meant a Hoodsy cup, but I digress); what mattered most was spending time with Gippy and getting to go animal watch. Gippy was a walker. He walked everywhere — once, notably, to a ball game in Worcester, which I think wound up being a 40 mile walk, round trip hahahahaa, my bad.  If he walked the way Google Maps suggested, it would be 80 miles round trip. I hope he got a ride home that day or stayed over somewhere. He was serious about his ball games. So, a ramble around the ‘hood with his granddaughter was no big deal for him.

(This from the man who balked at using a cane at 91 because canes were ‘for old people!’)

I love walking. I love taking walks. They calm me, they soothe me, and since his passing, they’ve become a way to honor his touch upon my life, and a way to touch in with him from time to time. Turning to walks to help deal with the anxiety is not a new thing. I’ve done three, so far, and I’m really going to try to not miss a week, even if the weather is awful and I opt to take a bus part of the way.

Today is blustery and grey, and it’s rained a bit, so the river level is up, and the water is running faster than last week.

20160310_111121.jpg

I’m not sure on the species of fowl, but they kept coming downriver backwards — until they came into view of my camera, and then the brats turned around. Which is just as well, because it’s not like you can see anything more than their heads at this point. Am pretty sure that these are Lesser scaup ducks.

20160310_114823

There are rocks under those rough patches. In the dry season, they’re almost entirely uncovered, especially lately.

20160310_113647.jpg

The sun came out for a minute.

20160310_122346.jpg

Yeah, I’ve got a thing for the magnolia trees currently. Look at those flowers.

All in all, a good walk. Got in some Work, spent some time listening to the water and the gulls and the geese and the ducks and the squirrels. Tolerated two metal detecting folks out looking for stuff. The snow geese were awesome to watch, they were such busy-bodies, and chased away other birds seemingly randomly. Spent time talking with Poseidon, and with Durga, and have project ideas lined up. On the way home I scored an incense holder that will be perfect for Their shrine, with four places of sticks. All I need in a small saucer to catch the ash, and then to move on to tea and tea cup.

And it didn’t even rain on me. Woohoo!

 

*my maternal grandfather.

Durga is kind . . . . and requests tea.

There’s continuing — I hesitate to use the word ‘pressure’ here, because that implies a press of urgency/impatience that is not present–encouragement? awareness-brought-to-the-fact? requests? reminders? I’ll go with reminders, that Durga does, in fact, want a tea cup. More, while She witnesses the right and proper sharing of tea between Poseidon and me, She wants Her very own. So far, it seems as though She wants green tea, with floral notes. It appears as though She’d prefer Her own tea assessories, set aside for Their usage.

I’ll admit, this is strange territory for me. I’m a low-church, practical-usage, paraphernalia-light sort of devotional polytheist, and tools and artifacts set aside solely for Their usage is very high-church, ritualistic, paraphernalia-heavy sort of thing. I’m all for having a certain cup  in my cupboard that is for a guest, because that guest prefers that cup — but I’m going to use that cup when the guest isn’t here, especially since we don’t, generally speaking, have more than the amount of cups we strictly need on any given basis.   (We own three mugs at the moment — one for Beth, one for me, one for Corbie) (he has a thing for drinking out of mugs, it’s a fun game, a treat, and  he’s not always willing to drink as much as we like, when it’s hot) so, for example, when g-c is out with her main squeeze in two months (!!!!!) we’re going to have to do some shopping. Having things just for Them is . . . not something I’ve ever before really encouraged. (Some might say I’m a bad polytheist  because of this. I’d argue that I’m definitely a bad high-church ritualist. I can do it, and I can do it well, but it’s never really had a place in my home space or private devotions before.)

Tea cup hunting is happening this weekend. I already own a small teapot that I could dedicate to Her service. (See what I did there?)  It’s plain and brown, and it’s my very first teapot, and if any of the teapots I have could be considered prized possessions, it’s this one. It came from a dear, dear friend, all the way from England, during our initial getting-back-in-touch after too long of having fallen out of touch. I’m not a thing person, but if this one ever  breaks, I’m probably going to cry.

But, tea cup first and foremost, because one can brew a single cup well enough in a tea cup — that’s what we do, after all. As shrine space allows, They may get individual cups, but only She is visiting currently.

And that’s another neat thing that’s happening. Poseidon does not live on or in His shrine. His shrine, more than anything else, is a focal point and a representation of our relationship, a focal reminder of Him being the center of my life. Odin’s is very much the same thing — He’s not quite the center of my life, but just left of center, and neither does He reside there. With Durga, and Their shrine . . . It’s certainly where She is residing within our house. It feels like that’s Her room and seat of honor, at the same time, and it’s a neat experience, because it’s different. Not more real. Not more tangible. Not more anything, just different. (I’ll admit, I feared that They’d feel more real to me, in the way that some of Them sometimes do. Poseidon feels extremely real to me, but at the same time, He is, or can be, like water you’re trying to cup in your hands, and I never know if that’s His nature, or if that’s due to not as much worship over the years, thus having a harder time getting through to our perceptions. Anyway. Not the case, thus far. Just different.)

#

It’s raining today. Walk to the river is postponed for now. Been doing it every week, and it’s been helping. Yesterday I finally made my dr appointment, so that’s happening on Friday, and Beth is coming with in case I get into one of my ‘don’t talk about it, don’t bring attention to it, everything is totes fine.’ phases.  So next week should be better. It’s been so interesting to what my black mood rolling over me in waves and side-stepping the emotional investment into it. The vitamin supplements have helped with my anxiety and my attachment to the emotions, and have allowed for a better perspective of how not okay I am. I would never, never expect anyone else to deal with this without help — without pharmaceutical help. Yes, I can watch my moods go high and low, and yes I can watch the baseline blue pervade most of my feelings, and yes, it’s good to be able to achieve that not-attachment to your emotions when you need to, but the downside is, because it happens so much, it’s hard to allow myself to experience the pleasant emotions, as well. I feel them, I watch them, but . . . it’s exhausting, being on high alert all the time. With the anxiety under control, or at least under control enough, I can say, this is fucked up, that I’d try to do this on my own. I have been, for a decade. But the tools in place are not enough right now, and so . . . yeah.  I always expect less empathy than I get, from my doctor, and if there is judging on this, that’s on her, not on me. (There won’t be. She’s got a beat on fatness, but that’s her own thing, and this is not that anyway.)

 

On the topic of finding a patron

If you don’t read my blog regularly, you may not know this, but I don’t generally like the sort of “do this, don’t do that,” advice. At least, I don’t like to give that sort of advice. I prefer the ‘hey, here’s some things I’ve done, here’s been my experience, here’s how I came into that situation, and here’s why it may be similar to what you’re dealing with,’ sort of advice. I’ve seen too many well-intentioned experienced pagans offer advice that worked for them, that sounded, in the delivery, like commandments. Not everything is going to work for everyone, and unless you’re in a specific tradition, attempting to conform to their standards and ways of doing things, that’s totally acceptable. More, it really shouldn’t be forgotten.

An upside to watching the YouTube pagan challenge vids has been getting to see people talk about their experiences (or lack there of) with their matron or patron deities. While that’s not really the language that we use in devotional polytheism, it’s a phrase that I hope most of us understand. Certainly, I do.  It’s been great to watch — but I’m coming away from some of these videos a bit heart-sore, in that people talk about being nervous to approach certain Powers, or that they don’t feel “called” by any One, and so they don’t approach, even when they are interested in Them. This breaks my heart. Why do we hesitate? Why is it not okay for us to make the first move?

I don’t think I’m special. I don’t think I have any secret knowledge (and if I did, you’d know about it already, because I share SO MUCH here, and it wouldn’t be a secret anymore, and so I still wouldn’t have any secret knowledge). I don’t think my experiences are all that rare or grandiose or anything — I’m just a woman, living my life, and worshiping  my gods. But, there are some things that I do know, some “truths” that have guided me well these two decades in my relationships with the gods. I am  dedicated to two gods who could arguably be considered scary, intense, off-putting (Odin gets more of that reputation than Poseidon does; I suspect it’s the whole sacrificing of Self thing, and His ruthlessness; let me tell you, Poseidon is pretty intense, all the same. Water wight to the millionth degree, I’m just saying to you.)

  1. If we even know about the Powers, enough to have names for Them, and stories, enough to even grasp a sense of Their presence, it’s because They’re interested in humanity.  They could be interested in your personally, or humanity in general, or any configuration between those two points, but if the Powers do not care about us at all, there is zero reason for Them to make Their  presence  known to us.
  2. Hospitality Matters and goes a long, looooong way. There’s an idea with (Krisna? Vishnu? It blurs, but I think Krishna) that any offering given with intent and devotion — even a cup of water, if that’s all one has — will be accepted, gladly. Hospitality is a two-way street. We have responsibilities as the givers of hospitality, and the recipient also has responsibilities, and it has been my experience — even with Odin, even with Loki, even with Hekate — that They will not ask of you what you cannot give. In material wealth, in wealth of time, in any area of your resources. This may change as you develop a closer relationship, maybe, but during the initial overtures of connection building,  I’d be surprised.
  3. Making the first move is acceptable. To be clear, Poseidon made contact with me before I knew Him, and Odin was in my realm of awareness before we had any direct experiences. When it comes to the final dedication to Poseidon — my marriage — I made that first move. I proposed to Him. I used to lament that — it wasn’t romantic, at all — but now, I’m kinda proud at my audacity. I asked Him to marry me, and I had the pleasure at experiencing Him go utterly still in shock. (Stillness is a thing with Him, and it’s heavy, and weighted, and intense, and full of past-reactions-gone-horribly-wrong) that had me back pedaling for a bit, trying to pull away from whatever overstepping I had done. This is in direct opposition to my experience with Pops, where He was all, ‘Learn the runes, and also, you’re Mine, we should get to working now.’

If you are interested in a Power and you don’t feel They’re interested in you, or even know that you exist– approach Them. I can’t say that it’ll always go the way you want it to go. What I will say, emphatically, is, there is no good reason why you can’t approach  Them first. Also, all the Powers are intense and can be scary. Some simply use fewer masks to make us more comfortable. Opening yourself up to any of Them means opening yourself up, and that is always going to be scary. (And, to many of us, so worth it)

How do I know if ______ deity is interested in me?

I’ll be frank: it has been a long, long, loooooong time since I questioned why Poseidon was interested in me. I didn’t really question it much when w/We first met. I did question it after I gave Him wedding vows. People outside of myself (who were also pagan and/or polytheist) didn’t question it so much to my face  (although people did challenge me to come up with reasons why Odin would be interested in me).  I did question His interest, a lot, when the relationship gained a new dimension, so I am familiar with that burning need to understand why, to understand is He really interested, though?

This is on my mind today, in part because Silence’s bit about the discernment process in his Worshiping Loki  (is it wrong to break out in a standing ovation while reading? Wrong? Maybe not. Awkward? Yes.) and in part because of  a question brought up in the comments over at Morgan Daimler’s post on being dedicated to the Morrigan. The question, if you’ll forgive the paraphrase, was essentially: how do you know the difference between actual interest from a deity, and your imagination?

The answers offered thus far are admittedly (by their own authors) unsatisfactory. You just know. It feels different. It’s like being in love, you just know. Now, I’m not going to fault anyone for struggling to come up with a pat, reliable answer to such a difficult question — because how can you quantify this? I’m not faulting anyone for anything here. Instead, I want to ask: does it matter?

Let me bring this back to my own experience. How did I know, as a broken, over-wrought, exhausted teenager, that Poseidon was the one to reach out to me and help me  begin my healing process? How did I know He was actually there, hearing me? How did I know that my experiences were really, truly real, and not just my imagination? How did I know that my gut reactions were not just a desperate need for wish-fulfillment? Later on, when I dedicated myself to Him, first temporarily, and then with vows of marriage, how did I know that He even cared, that He was even marking my existence in anyway? Aside from the omens I felt I received, aside from the experiences other had with me when I was by the sea, experiences that could easily be explained away, how did I know? I speak of feeling His affection, I speak of His generosity with me, of the gifts He’s given, of how He’s remade my life, but these can all be explained, from an outsider’s perspective, in a number of other ways, so how do I know, in the core of my being, in the bottom of my heart, in the center of who I am, that this is real, that it’s not my imagination, that He is interested in me, that He loves me, that I am His by His decree as much as by my own, how do I know?

I don’t.

I don’t know, not in any way that I can point to, and name, and hold up for the world to see. This doesn’t work that way. I know He’s real, because my experiences tell me He is, but I can’t prove it to you. I know He loves me, again, because my experiences bear that up, but I can’t prove it to you. I know He’s not my imagination, and again, I can’t prove it to you. And it doesn’t matter.

It doesn’t matter if this is my imagination or if He is real — I’m going to live as though it is, because it makes my world better, and it helps me make our world better. I didn’t know then, and for a while it drove me to distraction, until I realized, I’m not going to change how I live my life. Either He’s interested and this is all really, real, or He’s not interested and o/Our relationship only exists on my end — and either way, I’m going to live my life this way. Until He tells me otherwise. If I offend Him with my devotion, I have to believe He’ll let me know, and until He does, I will continue. I don’t believe I offend Him — I can feel His displeasure at that line of thinking (astonishment, bemusement. “What do you mean, if I’m real??”).

How do you know if they are interested in you, or if it’s your imagination? My answer is, you don’t, and it doesn’t matter. How do I know that Durga is showing an interest in me these days, that Vishnu is interested in a visit, and that it’s not my imagination?

I don’t.

I’m going to invite them over, anyway.

 

 

When Poseidon says bring an umbrella . . .

I hesitated on sharing this, because my first thought was, “Why would He care about whether or not I brought an umbrella? Surely this back-and-forth could just as easily have been a conversation between me and myself. How silly, to attribute part of it to a god.”

Except, I share my life with Him, and He weighs in on various seemingly trivial bits of my life, and yeah, sure this particular bit could very easily conversations between me and myself, a part of myself, of my reason and logic and inner thinking that I may have trained myself, over the years, to view as Poseidon. When it comes to these small interactions, I admit that it could just as well be me as it could be Him — but it makes me happier to believe it’s Him. It makes me happier to live in a world where this sort of interaction is possible, and at the end of the day, I do believe that the gods and spirits are not only capable of such intimate interactions with us, but that some of They may seek such intimate interactions out.

I also believe that it is possible to become used to this to the degree that the following can happen.

My mood has not been the greatest of late. I feel rushed and stressed, and I’m working on that. Yesterday was the first day of my work week, and I tend to have a really hard time with stress while getting ready to leave, so I may have been lashing out a bit. (Sorry, Beth!) As I was leaving,  the sky was clouding over, and I made it down my front steps before an urge came over me to go back and get an umbrella. I fought this urge, and it persisted. I was already laden with packages to mail for  Wytch of the North and I did not want  one more thing to carry.

The urge pressed harder upon me, so I turned around and found my umbrella. I snarled at Beth, “I can’t even fucking decide whether I want to bring an umbrella or not on my own!” and stormed back out of the house.

I didn’t make it halfway to my bus  stop before the sky opened up and rain poured down.

Let me make something clear here: there is little I hate more than being stuck in wet clothing. The rain was cold, and it was serious about raining for a bit, and I was immediately grateful that I had the umbrella.

As I waited for the bus, horror slowly crept over me. Now, Poseidon is a good sport when it comes to my moods — it’s almost like He knows something about sharp mood swings, and harsh tempers. He weathers the swells in my moods fairly  well. There are reasons I say that He is generous. He is unfailingly generous with His tolerance of my irreverence. But as :I waited for that bus, I caught a sense of  attention from Him as He waited for me to realize  what I’d done, for me to realize what had  happened.

Leaving aside the fact that my venting my anger on Him is acceptable to Him, so long as it’s either over something valid or is me at a breaking point when I have little control over my temper — lately,  it’s been a struggle, but yesterday I didn’t take one minute to sit and breathe and even attempt to rein it in. I was just snarly and I embraced that. So that’s not okay, and He called me on that shit. But leaving that aside?

Poseidon told me to take an umbrella with me.  It’s almost like He had insight  into how the rain storm might behave, and was offering guidance. *facepalm*  The only acceptable response to Poseidon saying to bring an umbrella is to take the flipping umbrella. And maybe a “thank you,” could be nice, too.

 

Inclusion, citation, love-affairs with mythic past; more ADF-inspired musing

I’ve made more progress in reading through the DP manual — I should have the finished tonight/tomorrow, and I’ll move on to supplemental material. I want to make it perfectly clear: I am already finding much of value in the material, and I’m not knocking anyone’s approach. I’ve interacted with people in the ADF before now, and I really have nothing to complain about. This, so far, is proving to be a useful exercise in re-evaluating where I am.

I hit the section dealing with hearth cultures last night, and I read some more of their sample rituals. I found the later ones to be better in that they seem a bit less ‘here, I’m giving to you so now gimme!!’, and there was fewer instances of problematic-for-me language when it came to dealing with the Deep and what its treasures are. I still think that, as a primer for new-to-paganism in general, more time could be spent on why we might interact with the Powers, and why relationships being maintained for their own good might be useful and desirable. Maybe it’s my background. Maybe it’s my retail history. Maybe it’s my aversion to the way we are consumers in the world, but I really want more substance on this topic. I can get behind people being in need of help and having nowhere else to turn — Poseidon came into my life when I needed the help, and He gave that to me before anything else was exchanged; I’m not knocking that we gain from Them and that They seem willing to give. I just . . . want more substance about how relationships can be, in a primer that is for new-to-paganism folks.

I also want citations. When I reached the part dealing with the Proto-Indo-European hearth culture, I stumbled. So, I’m all for being inspired by the past, and I’m all for creating anew upon the bones of the past, and so I’m not knocking that. But the manual asserts that ‘Spring was a very busy time for the Proto-Indo-Europeans. It began with the Spring Equinox, which was the New Year (the beginning of the year, not the end). Associated with Xáusōs and Diwós Sunú (“Sons of the God”). The return of Light.’ Citations for the curious, please? Because if they don’t exist, that’s fine, but say so, and stop this need to root *everything* in the past like this. And if they do exist, gimme because I want to see the source material for myself, because context matters to me and I need to see it for myself. (Context matters. It’s why I don’t understand how the bit about Poseidon Asphaleios wound up being about Him holding the earth steady, when the reference in Pausanias is all about commerce and the marketplace. I want to know how Burkhert made that jump; I want to know what he knew that I don’t.)

Perusing the Hellenic hearth culture and their High Days, I had to walk away. The two suggestions for the Winter Solstice were Dionysos festivals, and while I get it, Dionysos is the shit, it grated. I understand that we build our own tradition within the ADF format, and so obviously mine will be heavily slanted toward Poseidon — but come on. THE MONTH WAS NAMED FOR POSEIDON in Athens. There is historical evidence of His festival falling on or near the Solstice in various parts of the Hellenic world. /rant. That’s my own peeve, and I admit that.

I’m still sitting with the IE focus. Groups can decide how they want to be, and I won’t be a poor guest by demanding otherwise. I’m finding it interesting how much my time within the heathen community and having Poseidon worship excluded solidified within me a reluctance toward similar exclusion, in general. It was formative, for sure. “Come worship with us, honor the gods, stand with us in community and frith — but we don’t want this very central part of who you are, it has no place with us.” It gives me the smallest insight into how people who fall outside our expected norms of various issues — religious, race, gender, sexuality, ways of being in and experiencing the world, might maybe feel when they are excluded, and it makes me extremely reluctant to be a person who endorses that exclusion. Yes, both Poseidon and Odin fall under the umbrella . . . but I also feel a bit disingenuous, being someone living in a land that is not European, and seeking to find my gods is this place. I do seek out Others — the landspirits here have run the gamut between being flexible with whatever form I use to approach them to being outright demanding in dictating how it will be, based on Their established preferences, and I will not do anything other than stay open to Their input. I honor Poseidon when the rains return, but I honor Poseidon and the Rainmakers; I’m inclusive to those Who are here, and I think we need to be, and I think, with those of us on occupied land, that’s going to be tricky, and important.

I realize, as I study, and ponder, what I want is modern polytheism to be inclusive. I want space at the table for all sorts of polytheists with all sorts of cultural influences. I want the uniting factor to be respect, to be hospitality given and received. I want us to be good hosts and good guests. I want that to be the common ground, and maybe not what our rituals and worship look like.

A need to have our praxis look the same, or even similar, is a hold-over from monotheism, and it’s a need that has to go.

These are my thoughts this morning.

Now for chores!

Happy Anniversary to me and w/We!

This morning, I’m actually quite displeased with myself, enough so that I believe this will be the last time that I fail to take the time off from work. I realized last year, finally, that I also really prefer to not work on my birthday, and I’ve already got that date jotted down on our work calendar.  Today is day eight of an eight consecutive work day stretch, and I do. not. want. I want to stay home and immerse myself in the presence of my Beloved. I want to walk to the river (which wouldn’t happen today even if I was staying home, thanks to a pulled and pissed off knee). I want to write letters, I want to write crappy poetry, I want to read bits about Him that I’ve written, and that others have written. I want to bask.

Instead, I’ll go and put stock away. *sigh*

I’ll drink copious amounts of caffeine. I’ll maybe write a bit when I get home. Certainly I’ll spend some extra time in meditation. I’ll rest my knee, so that it does not set off the sciatica — oh, you jealous nerve, how you want in on all the pain action! I felt those twinges last night! —  Tomorrow I will attend to chores and rest some more, and enjoy the time off. I will take to heart how much I want this time off next year, and maybe I’ll remember to plan for it.

I’m not sure when it happened, but anniversaries matter to me now, and I’ll start marking them.

 

Offerings to Vishnu, ADF babble, and a Tarot video!

With the set up of the extended shrine space,  I’ve turned my mind toward offerings to Vishnu-without-Poseidon, Lakshmi, Durga, and Ganesh. I’m still at a wordless offering place — incense, and non-verbal touching in. Part of that is the offerings happen first thing in the morning, and I’m not a person who words easily first thing in the morning.

Words will be incorporated at some point — maybe. Regularly? That’s less clear. Words tend to be, for me, about community-with-humans, not so much community-with-Powers. They don’t need my words, but the world might. So, we’ll see?

Two sticks in the morning is the limit for me, for what my delicate nose can tolerate, so Poseidon gets one, and the rest share the other, and so far so good with that. May incorporate drink offerings for Them to all get individualized hospitality and attention.

Part of why I’m eyeballing ADF is an attraction to a ritual format (or even ritual tradition) that is utilized by many to fit a variety of ‘hearth cultures’ that can serve as a common language. This may be silly — surely I can figure that out on my own, and in fact,  I have — but it’s only one part of my eyeballing joining ADF. This is a reoccurring idea of mine, and I’m going to do it if for no other reason than to finally put that idea to bed. The more I read about Hinduism, the more and more  I’m reminded that worship is about extending hospitality and expressing gratitude. This seems to be true across the board. Keeping in right relationship with the Powers.

As I ponder and as I write and as I pray, I come back to balking about adopting a Hindu form of worship. I’m about as Hindu as I am Hellenic; I’m not. And I tend to tie myself up in knots, a lot, when I’m in study mode. So maybe joining ADF and working through their Dedicant Program while studying Hinduism and its history, might be the thing I need to remember that there are other ways of approaching Them, if They find it agreeable.

Poseidon’s been trying to get me to leave off from Hellas in my mind, of associating Him so much with Hellas, that He’s all for this.

And, for something completely different, I made a tarot deck flip-through video. Luna added her commentary, and the last minute had me in tears when I watched it before uploading it. Just sayin’.