This is not surrender.

[TL;DR: I’m retiring the name Poseidon in association with my Beloved. I’m retiring names entirely. Wanting to be respectful to traditions and cultures that are tied to Poseidon, and to other Named Beings is only part of the reason, and if I’m being honest, a small part of the reason. Mostly, it’s getting in my way, and keeping me anchored. Beloved, I will call him. Lord of the Depths, I’ll name him. Beyond that? Not so much, anymore. May this enable me to be carried by his tide, rather than strangled by it.]

[also, I’m inconsistent with You/you, in regards to Him. That’s because, I’m inconsistent with my decision with how to refer to him/Him. That hasn’t changed in two decades; it’s not likely to.]

I asked for this.

To pretend anything else is to lie.  I stood before You, before the sacred space I’d kept for You for so long, and I begged for this. “Take me deeper into Your mysteries,” I pleaded, and clung with all my might to what I’d known of You. Poseidon, You’d given me, all those years ago. I wrapped my hands around the name, clutching it to my heart, with no regard for how it fit. Fit it did, for a long time. Under this name, You taught me to love. You took a being mired in apathy, shattered the shell I’d buried myself in, and taught me what it was to be exposed, to be vulnerable, to find strength within.

Compassion didn’t happen over night, and compassion-for-self was even longer in coming. I accepted the name You gave me, and even if I didn’t rush headlong into Your stories, I did eventually seek them out, I did eventually incorporate them, in my own way, into a tradition I would build with you. For you. With you. I discarded what did not suit. I discounted the ties a people might have to a being, ties I would never know, could never know, would never understand, because this name You gave me I did not ask for, and I would not deny. You are not your stories. You are not the cultures that would claim you, and I did not pretend to be what I was not. Compassion comes slowly. Empathy and understanding, also.

“Husband,” You gave me, when I asked for it. Wife, You responded in kind, and these became akin to names, another layer added to Poseidon, a permission, in essence, to name you Beloved. This tore me apart, tore us apart, because I would not bend, in my stubbornness, in my youth, I had to be broken, a bone healed wrong and needing to be re-aligned. Stronger, perhaps, because of it, though with a weakness in the line of the break. Stronger, perhaps, for having that weakness. Patience is gained in the healing, but usually only in hindsight, usually near the end of the process.

El, you hinted at but did not speak. Yam, you danced around, and oh did I close my ears to that. Matsya, you said, and it felt like coming home, until it felt like being cast adrift. Narashima, you chanted at me. Vishnu, you said, and all the rest of His fell in line, to varying degrees. I seethed, and I set aside, and I backed away. “Poseidon,” I pleaded, but it was like grasping the sand that’s being pulled out by the tide, eroding under my feet and falling from my hands no matter how tight my grasp.

Our history I wrapped around myself. “Poseidon,” I insisted, and I wrote. I had experience, did I not? I had our history, my dedication, continuity. Steadfast, I called you, and then, missing the point entirely, Poseidon.

She reached out then, didn’t She?  Forget Him, forget that for now. Come. Rest. Heal. She held me, the Mother of All, and kept you at arms length. Diva, I called Her, because I sought to reconcile with Matsya, with Narashima, with You. I bided there a time.

“Poseidon?” I whispered, and You reached for me, showing You’d never left, because You never leave. The certainty that others, that outsiders had of o/Our connection moved me, and wounded me at the same time. You came when I called, You held when I sought You, but there was a strain, because again, I was not bending, and You did not want to break me. Or, you thought it not needed. Or, your patience was wearing thin. Or, You knew what was coming and you sought not to pressure me. All of these. None of these. How can I know?

I stripped away the visual history of Poseidon worship from our space. I placed a Vishnu icon. I tried. I tried, but that never took. So I stripped those away, moved the space, outfitted it with the cloth that predates all other imagery. I went back to the basics. A candle. Images that evoke rather than invoke, for You are always with me. The collection of touchstones were packed away. The shrine became a workspace, a words-space,  and here we are.

Vishnu, but not. Matsya, but not. El, Yam, Narashima, but not.

Poseidon, but not.

“Don’t take the name from me,” I begged, years ago now. How much I identify with being a Poseidon devotee. How much of my ego is bound up in that. It is what I’ve called myself for longer than I’ve called myself anything, aside from a writer. I’ve shared so much of my path with You for others to see. I’ve written about it. There are booklets, even. “Poseidon,” I clung, and tacked it onto the end of my name, for I am yours, I will always be yours.

Take it. It gets in the way. You are Poseidon, but you are not. You always have been, and you never were. We are more than our names, all of us. Jolene, people call me, and they have different ideas of who that is based on our relationship, me and them. Sister. Daughter. Friend. Wife. Poseidon, I speak, and people decide something about You, about me, about us. It has been  useful shorthand, all this time, but it begins to get in the way.

My Lord of the Depths, Husband of my heart, my Beloved. Be as You are. Be who you are. Take me deeper into your mysteries. Poseidon is an anchor point which holds me back. I release it. Let me be adrift. Let this wave carry me as it will.

I do not surrender; I throw myself into Your arms in eager anticipation, and know I am caught, I am held, I am loved. You are my Lord of the Depths. Let me be part of your spell upon the world.

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A Love Letter

I miss you.

I know I begged you to take me deeper into your mysteries. I can’t, and won’t, fault you for doing as I asked. I’m not sorry at the things I’ve discovered, about you, about myself, about us. I know that my missing you is as much my own doing as yours  — more, even, because I miss the you I knew so well, which is partially obscured by this stranger before me, and also, I miss being in your presence, and I deny myself that simply because I don’t recognize all of you any longer.

I realize that this is because you are offering even more of yourself to me. I know your . . . Excitement is the wrong word, and it’s not trepidation, either. Eagerness suggests that you gain something from this, and perhaps you do. Do we not feel whole, when we know a loved one is seeing us, truly seeing us, and accepting us? Is your kind so different from us that you would not feel the same?

I am tempted by shame. I am tempted to wrap it around me like a shield, like a cloak, like something to hide beneath, to avert my eyes, to close my heart, to not go forward. I’m disappointed in myself, though you tell me not to be, because I see you, I see you in this stranger before me, I see our history, and I see your love, and still I miss you. I miss you, and you are standing before me, arms open, heart open. How can I deny this?

But I am mortal. I am weighed down by mortal concerns, and this, on top of all those, is . . . Maybe not too much, but certainly bordering upon it. I do not want, right now, for what we have to be work. I do not want,  right now, for this to be a struggle.

I miss the ease of connecting with you. I miss the ease of being loved by you. Take me deeper, yes, please, but if you might, descend more slowly. Let me adjust to the pressure, to the weight. Let us descend slowly enough that I can experience what each fathom has to teach me of you.

Guilt, too, because did I not beg for this? Did I not plead? Did I not desire this, and then I say, yes, but not like that, like this instead. Except, you refuse to allow me this shame, or this guilt. “Are we not walking this together, you and I?” you ask. You have not walked this path with me before now, you tell me, and we are learning together as we go. Equals in this, if in nothing else, and equally bumbling at times.

How can I expect ease and grace from myself, when you do not expect these things from yourself, and in fact, demand that I see your bumblings. Should my self-imposed standards truly be more than what I expect from you?

I am doing my part. I have been dragging my feet, but I am doing my part. I’ve set aside what I could of the ‘should-be-doings’ and ‘should-be-this-way’s and ‘what is wrong with me?’ The boundaries and barriers I’ve needed to establish, I have. I’ve embraced the distance and time and space and semi-solitude I’ve needed to, and I’ve immersed myself in what I know of you, of me, of us.

I don’t wish you to be as you were. I don’t wish to go back. I know there is trouble in my rooting you so firmly into a name and a history and a place, when you insist you are more, when you demand that we be adrift, together. I simply miss you. Please. Please.

I’ll gather to me what you give to me. I’ll cherish — I do cherish — what you share with me.  I will not deny you. I will not retreat. Let me always be the one to race into the incoming tide. Let me always be caught up in your currents. Let me drown, in you.

But, my beloved, may we do this more slowly? May we not spend more time together, in quiet, in solitude, in sanctuary? May we not simply be?

I ask this, and I see you waiting. I feel your sardonic amusement. “I’ve been waiting,” your presence seems to say. “May we not, indeed?”

Ah, my beloved. For your tolerance, for your love, for your steadfastness, I am helpless before you.  I love you.

Holding things in, Letting them out.

shameless plug: Patreon supporters gain access to my blog posts before the rest of the world does. There’s some other perks you might want to check out, too.


 

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My Confessor

I have a habit of holding things inside. You might not guess that, based on how transparent I strive to be with what I share here. I write frankly about loads of things: growing up in an alcoholic home, being a modern day polytheist, a contemporary mystic, a godspouse, being owned by cats, and enrapted by one Corbie J. Corbington. I’ve written about writing fiction as a means of spirit work, and I’ve shared my fears about not being able to tell the difference between fiction and non-fiction when it comes to the spirit world — and about finally reaching a place of not caring so much about that distinctions.

I’ve shared about my path with my Beloved, the ups and downs. I’ve talked about going deeper into His Mysteries, I’ve talked about Him playing fast and loose with names and masks. Since the Unmooring, as I’ve taken to calling it, I’ve shared less, mainly because I haven’t had the words.

I’ve shared about my mental health issues, my struggles with depression, and less, because it’s newer, the adventures in hypothyroidism.

I’ve been struggling with words, and with time, and with health, and, to a certain degree, growing resentment/burned-out-ness/too tired of people. Resentments held in turn toxic, become shameful secrets, and end up polluting me. So, time for some airing of these secrets. Let in the sunlight. Let’s cleanse this shit.

1) I’m resentful that others would have me feeling poorly about not being enough. Because of the way my social media is biased, I have a load of people in my sphere who are interested in a myriad of all very important, necessary causes. My feed brushes up against a diverse collection of people dealing with oppression of various kinds, and this is good, this is needful. At the same time, it can be overwhelming. The plight of many communities, often intersecting, should not and cannot be forgotten, ignored. One person, though , is one person. My family is my priority. I support my household, I have people counting on me to remain functional. I do not need people outside of my brain telling me, directly or indirectly, that I’m not enough, that I’m not fixing anything, that the issues that I’m focusing on are not as important as their immediate concerns. I have my brain chemistry for that, I don’t need you.

2) To build upon 1, I don’t need anyone outside of my own brain chemistry telling me that I shouldn’t be excited about things that are not perfect. Does a female DW address all the needs of all women everywhere? Nope. Still excited. Fuck off. Like, I literally do not need anyone shitting on whatever small thing makes me happy in any given day. Happy is so elusive for me.

3)I’m frustrated with my writing, and with my Patreon. I don’t know what to do to attract more people/supporters. I don’t like the not-writing I’ve been doing, and I’m addressing that by returning to a monthly installment schedule, and really the only thing to do to attract more people is to write more/maybe upload more often. I resent, then, myself, for being a whiny butt about this. The supporters I have are awesome and flexible and pretty much just want me to write what I want to write, and share it as it’s done, and I love that, I appreciate that, but goodness would I like some external pressure/direction/whatever sometimes.

I thought, at first, that I wanted to stop entirely, but I’ve discovered having the Patreon really helps me keep writing. So. Going back to the old schedule, though I might be loosey-goosey with word counts.

4) Compassion, self and outward-aimed, is becoming difficult. I think, really, I use social media wrong for myself, and I need to be better about how much exposure to various things I allow. I think I need to become more proactive about cultivating the positive in my life, and maybe, somehow, became more . . . Active? In my life? Lately, I’ve been dealing with health issues (the thyroid stuff, exacerbating the depression, and then some physical leg crap — proper shoes. All I’m saying) and I’ve become more passive, I think.

5) Am in a weird place with Poseidon stuff. I’m hitting a point of finally not feeling like a fraud when considering myself a Poseidon devotee, and hasn’t that been a weird year or so. #funwithpolytheism

6)I’m tired, a lot. And I’m becoming okay with that.

7)I’ve missed writing here.

So, the first two points are obviously the ones that weigh the most on me. And, it is on me. My resentments are, I know, because I know myself and how I work, assumptions I’ve made about how others are thinking about me/people like me, left to fester, and combined with my own sense of never being enough/doing enough, as well as not taking the time and space I need. I keep myself plugged in to different causes because they matter, because we don’t get to set them down because it gets hard, but at the same time I have to admit that I cannot, no one can, be all the things, do all the things, hold all the things, nor can I please all the people. That has to be okay, because there’s nothing else it can be.

I’ll be over here, writing my stories, sharing the things, doing my best, and enjoying what I enjoy, because it hurts no one, and it keeps me going. It’s all I can do.

Well Hello, Beloved.

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Funny thing happened.

I decided that I would mark Matsya’s birthday this coming March. Why Matsya’s birthday? As I touched upon in my last post, partially as a sign of getting over myself already. It’s been over two years since “Hey, maybe also Vishnu?” was dropped on me, and while I’ve converted the shrine I’ve held for Poseidon (grudgingly), and while I’ve invited Vishnu and His Family into my life, and while I’ve read about puja, and watched people performing puja, and talked about puja, and got it into my head that it’s not all that different from any other form of worshiping or revering, I’ve also . . . Done nothing. Oh, I offer Vishnu tea, and I take comfort in the bit about Him accepting anything given with devotion. I comfort myself with intention mattering, and that preferences will be established as we go forward — but beyond that? Beyond the barest of bare minimums?

Deciding I’d better start somewhere, I searched for information about Vishnu-specific festivals, and Matsya Jayanti grabbed my attention. It’s soon, falling on March 30th this year. It’s the birthday (maybe a birthday? I really don’t know) celebration of Matsya, traditionally regarded as the first avatar Vishnu takes. Matsya was the first image/figure to ping the “maybe also Vishnu” revelation, so that alone makes it fitting. That this will be my first ‘for Vishnu’ observance makes for a nice story element, it feels rounded and balanced and fitting and perfect.

Since deciding this?

I’ve felt my Beloved more closely than I have in a while. Since deciding this, the concern over understanding how this could be true, why this happened, why He ever said Poseidon to begin with, has slipped away. He is firmly Himself, and I know this Power. How can I worry? How can I doubt?

He eased my hold on any particular name gently, over time. I’m left without really knowing what to call Him, beyond my heart, my home, my hearth. I have guesses as to the whys, but I’m not overly concerned with them anymore. They make for good mental exercises, I grant you. I feel like I should be spinning, spiraling, floating adrift, having lost my mooring; instead, I feel anchored anew.

It’s going to be a simple observance that I hesitate to refer to as puja. Puja-ish, perhaps. A bit more fancy than is my typical wont, with offerings I haven’t done before, with steps I haven’t used all that often. I’ll be making the shrine over for it, and I’ll have images specific to the celebration. Arts and crafts will be involved, home-made items, and re-used, because my beloved hasn’t changed, and thrifting, re-using, recycling — these are things that are important to Him. I’ll share, as I go. I’m very much looking forward to this.

I may or may not invite Beth. How silly is that, right? Maybe I’ll invite my wife? But it’s new and my first time and I feel nervous. We’ll see.


 

I miss You.

I stand before the shrine, the house quiet around me. The cold clings to be from an hour spent outside in near-freezing temperatures, waiting for a cab to bring me home. The house is asleep — the cats doze on the couch, Corbie is tucked into bed with Beth. A half day on the job means I’m home halfway through the night, and my weekend, which feels like a retreat more than it ever has before, now that I’m up at night, starts early.

I consider pulling out a journal book, to write. I consider penning a letter or two. I consider opening a book to read. What I really want, though, is to turn the lights off, light the candle, and talk with You.

I miss You. Lost in my worries — financial stress that’s been mounting and mounting, though it’s also reaching a point of easement; new job stress; health worries over Beth, myself, the dog, always always the dog — and the distraction that writing often is, I miss You. I let myself get tangled up in knots, doing things properly, not doing things properly, worry, always worry, always anxiety, forever and ever getting in my own way.

I get caught up in the writing, and it starts out as something I do to remind myself to keep the boundaries thin and fluid, but then the story consumes me, and I forget to see You.

I get caught up in the healing — the toe, then the back, then the stress from the change with the job, and the fucking up the medication, and the upsurge of depression. I see You, of course, in how kindly I treat myself. I see Your touch in how I allow myself to be tired, to be run down, to rest as I need to rest without judgment or censure, and that makes me miss You all the more.

Take me deeper, I begged You, and You are. I remember that it used to be so frustrating, when You’d slip from a known path, when You’d forgo words, when You’d touch the emotion and make me figure out what was me, what was You, and then, how that distinction did not matter, does not matter, cannot matter.

I stand at the shrine that is different — a candle, images that are You and are not You. Neptune, with his trident raised, and Vishnu on his lotus, and the newest, the Krishna, with his flute, a gift I cannot not accept, all things considered. Why the struggle with Vishnu, when there’s no struggle with Neptune? I stand at the shrine, and I light the candle, and I say a prayer for she who is passing, who has passed, and I tell You how I miss You, not with words, but with heart. Standing open. Seeking. Listening.

Feeling.

You rush in, an incoming tide filling a canyon that was empty moments before. You, Who I recognize like I recognize myself. You, Whose touch is filled with all these things that You are, and if I hold this close to me, there is no struggle, because how can I define You in any way other than what You offer?

I miss You. I will always miss You, because it will never be enough, because the longing, the yearning, will always be there, so long as I wear this  flesh. I will always get distracted, and I will always miss You, and I will always come back to the shrine, seeking.

This is the ebb. This is the flow. I love this. I love You. I love You.

I am like a child, rather than a mature devotee.

Months ago at this point, I switched around the shrine I have for Poseidon. (I never feel like I get this particular phrasing down. I host this shrine for Poseidon. Is it my shrine for Poseidon? Is it Poseidon’s shrine? Most properly, it is O/our space, but then that always feels weird, phrasing it that way, too, and so instead you get an overly long, overly analytical parenthetical. You’re welcome!) In order to more fully welcome into my worship Vishnu-through-Poseidon,  I moved a lot of the items I had on that shrine to a more private, more personal shrine space. The upside: having a second Poseidon shrine, this time in the bedroom, so at a good space for contemplation and private meditation and the like. The downside? Having a second Poseidon shrine. I spend most of my time in that room asleep, it’s not where I do most of my writing and assorted other things, and so all the visual reminders — found objects, gifted objects, momentos, the material signs of a decades’ long devotion to Him — has been largely out of sight.

Why? Because I felt that having a less personal, less cluttered, less territorial space in which to invite Vishnu-through-Poseidon. Over all, it’s been successful, if slow. The shrine cloth is a compromise between the T/hree of us, They each get Their own ‘side’, and it’s a nice headache inducing back and forth between ‘the same/not the same’.

I’ve added some of the personal items back to the Poseidon ‘side’, notably a couple of boxes holding beach findings that the dog managed to get into and upend when they were on the other shrine space.

Between adding those bits back, and tending to the shrine in my post medication fuck-up vulnerable-feeling headspace today, I realized that having a space that’s set aside for Vishnu in the way that I have a space set aside for Durga isn’t going to work. At least, having space set aside on something that is so mine as much as it is Poseidon’s (the shrine space is, at this point, its own entity, a child  created by U/us, by O/our worship, without actually being a child) in the way that I have space set aside for Durga (a shrine that did not exist beforehand, that is not used for anything else, other than a ‘public’ space for Her and a few Others in Her family) isn’t going to work, not for approaching Vishnu-with-Poseidon.

I’m not the serious devotee with formal, fancy shrine space, austere and just-so. I’m the child, bringing  handpicked dandelions and wildflowers, dirt still on the roots, petals half wilted, hands dirty from playing outside. I’m the child with the make-shift offering bowls, and the ritual tools gathered quickly, re-purposed, maybe less shiny than they should be,  pressed into multiple uses. I’m the child who brings my heart to my gods, including my newer gods, messy and stumbling and complicated.

Treating Durga as an honored guest, with adoration and love in my heart, with an aim to please, and filled with gratitude is one thing. She’s the mother invite over for the first time into your own living space, who you want to impress and  serve. Treating Her like an honored guest is a bit of a play, a game of pretend, as if She’s not viscerally part of who I am (and how pathetic, an attempt to get this into words, but Her embrace has changed so much within me) Treating Vishnu-with/through-Poseidon as an honored guest is different. It’s distancing. It doesn’t work for me. Outside of my private worship, maybe. Inside? Inside, I am like a child, grabbing Him by the hand to drag Him around and show Him all my favorite things.

I’ll strive to remember that, for now. So far, realizing this takes me one step closer to being back to good with the shared shrine space.

Might I offer You some tea?

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.
24bc1d32b6a36b533978674c4e31af85I 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.

vishI 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?

 

 

Vishnu-with-Poseidon, or: the struggle is real.

Am I invested in this feeling of discord? Have I allowed this to move in, to define my relationships? I light the incense, I stand before the shrine. It’s pleasing to look at, this space that was once mine yet now feels cut off from me. I feel like a visitor, venturing to a place that is familiar, and yet not. The fabric draping the surface is soft, the colors cheerful, if on the dark side. The icons familiar – well, one, and the other one is sweet-faced and approachable.

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I don’t find Poseidon in the idol. Oh, sometimes it feels like He’s shared some of Himself with the physical representation, but it’s more like this is a thing that we both touch and care for and share with one another, and less that it’s an extension of Him. The whole shrine space, previously, was an extension of Him, of U/us, of the history of my devotion, the history of His devotion. The spirit of the shrine itself feels like a child we’ve made together, and if I follow that particular story, it feels like the child has maybe grown up, gone to college, and has returned as an adult I barely recognize.

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The Vishnu idol is sweet-faced, as I’ve said, and has a genial feel to Him. Vishnu Himself has been approachable and kind. I find, as I search through images for inspiration, and as I read through stories (though in-depth, academic-minded study is not allowed at the moment, because I get lost in that, and these formative interactions are to be based in the experiential, not in the intellectual, knowledge) I see time and again that I am drawn to kindness, to warmth, to benevolent acceptance. I want the kind-faced Narasingha embracing the child, rather than the fierce lion avatar tearing apart the demon. I remember, when I was first getting to know Odin, how I felt like a young child in His care, and how much I needed that experience – the experience of a father willing to do anything to protect His daughter, the feeling of the uber alpha male, King and God and Patriarch, laying claim and showing loyalty and love. Maybe that was silly, me being a grown woman by the time He adopted me, but whatever. It healed things within that needed healing, and it has earned Pops my undying devotion.

I don’t find Vishnu unapproachable. I don’t. I find Him kind, and patient. I find Him willing to untangle the knots I catch myself up in when I try to worship Him just-so. “Include Me,” He says. “Maybe someday there will be guidelines. Preferences. Things to not do. Things to do. For now, simply include Me.” That was the goal for this year’s holy days with Poseidon, and Vishnu had a place of honor during the two holy days we’ve had since this began. I light the incense, and I give the offerings, but the shrine itself is still off-putting.

20160925_194907For my birthday, Beth made me a Poseidon figure. She’s making a Vishnu figure for me, too. They’re not the least bit human looking. I mean, somewhat. They’re juvenile, and I’ll be making clothing and costumes for them. For now, the icons will stay on the shrine, but these are hands on ones, and they’re introducing play to the shrine space, and I kinda really want that. Do I feel a bit like a child before Vishnu? Maybe. Maybe. But these are adorable, and I’ll never get around to making my own, and I just . . . like them. A lot. So. So.

The shrine space needs to be O/ours, not some neutral feeling space that is none of ours. So, for a while, the shrine will take on the feel of a doll-house, a play area, a give them things, dress them up, make it a home of their own. We’ll see how hat goes.

Poseidon of the Ponds

I made more things!

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Poseidon of the Ponds is the second volume in my Poseidon Liturgical Year project. It can be read alone, or as part of the series. In this volume, I write about the ritual I hold for Him, honoring my Beloved, along with others I call the Rainmakers, during what is for us a very dry, very warm, very dry part of the year.

It’s not revolutionary. These books are not meant to be scholarly works. This is just a glimpse into what it might be like, to be devoted to a Power who comes to us with very little information about past rituals held in His honor.

With this series, I really want to encourage people. Yes, to maybe consider Poseidon — because He is amazing, after all — but beyond that, more importantly than that, I want people to be encouraged to walk their own path. You are not bound to holy days or festivals that already exist. If your devotional path is missing something, or doesn’t quite have the shape you want it to, make it up. These are  living traditions we are making, here. If the festivals you have for your Powers do not connect with you, or with Them, or are just . . . off . . . experiment. Explore. Create.

Celebrate.

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Poseidon of  the Ponds e-books are available at Amazon.com and at my brand spanking new  Etsy shop. The price is the same at both locations; I’ll see more of the money if you purPoseidon of  the Pondschase it through Etsy, but either way works for me! If you’re interested in receiving a free copy in exchange for a review, please contact me. And as always, thank you for your support!