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.

Slipping back in

I really need to bring the lesson home: don’t worry so much. Stop over-thinking. Just come and sit and be. Just say hello.

Writing my last post helped me to confront that, yes, I was actually struggling with this whole thing again, and yes, it was mostly my doing, and yes, it needed to be confronted head on. Is it all my fault? I don’t think so.

I struggle with reconciling Poseidon’s desire for me to regard Them as One Being, while dealing with two distinct personalities, with different expectations and preferences. Is that a short coming on my part? I’m okay saying that it is, but owning that does not make it easier to deal with, and  right now it’s hindering me rather than helping me grow.

I struggle with having a shrine space that is less mine and more Theirs — and there’s nothing to be done for this except getting in front of that shrine and making it a part of me. The whole reason the shrine was so much O/ours was because I’ve kept a shrine for Him, and then for U/us, for  over a decade. Of course this new one is going to feel, you know, new. That’s sort of the point. So, own that discomfort, and then yes, in this, work through it by working through it, by giving devotions despite the discomfort, because that’s the only way to move beyond this particular discomfort.

I struggle with missing Him, so I reach out and make an effort. I set aside the self-recriminations, because those serve no purpose and only work to distract. I reach out, offering Him tea, and love, and praise, sharing my thoughts with Him, drawing upon O/our history, and what I know of Him, and my Beloved rushes at me like the incoming tide. Having been to the Atlantic so recently, and then to the Pacific twice in a season, I can compare and contrast the experiences, and I can say that while I love the Pacific, the Atlantic feels like home. I find Poseidon in both places — I find Poseidon everywhere I look — but, because I met Him at the Atlantic, that location is just more viscerally His, and it’s a super fast and powerful touchstone. And I wish I had that at the Pacific . . . but also, a little bit I do. It’s just not as powerful, not as immediate. Possibly the local spirits of place sing to me strongly and distract. It’s not a bad distraction. Possibly I simply do not know the Pacific as well as I do the Atlantic. Possibly there’s ancestral ties that strengthen that bond that I don’t have with the Pacific. I don’t know. Possibly a dozen things; at some point trying to suss out the finer reasons why a thing is or is not serves no purpose, and it’s time to just accept what is without having to seek a pattern.

I struggle with wanting to come to know Vishnu better, because my method for doing so tends to be 1) gain some working knowledge of tradition and then 2) retreat from that to establish a personal relationship free from the trappings of tradition. I’m cognizant of the fact that this is a privileged stance, and I’m mindful of appropriation, and so these are interesting waters to navigate. Except, I’m not a person to join traditions, and anyway it’s not like there’s any locally that I can explore that focus on Vishnu. I want to be fluent in the language of His worship, so to speak, but that’s as far as that goes.  I really am grateful that the foundation of my relationship with Poseidon happened outside of Hellenic paganism, happened outside of social media and the scrutiny of peers, and I realize I want that, too, for this exploration with Vishnu-with-Poseidon. At the same time, I can pass up an opportunity like this to share with you as I go, because it’s messy and uncomfortable and did I mention messy? But I think it’s so very important to share that, to show that. My refrain: it’s been two decades (or will be, in a week) and I don’t have my shit together, I still flail about, it’s not neat and tidy, it will never be neat and tidy, let’s keep it real.

There’s so much tradition out there, too, with Vishnu — His worship is so established, so it’s not like I even had access to anything on that scale with Poseidon. Do we get to just disconnect Them from that, to take Them out of context? I need, I think, to find a happy medium, because I need to make this personally relevant for me, and when it’s just study and holding Historic Vishnu in my mind, He becomes unapproachable and so different from the Vishnu-with-Poseidon. So, I struggle with this as well.

Struggles aside, when I reach out, I am met with love and compassion, and patience. I’m reminded that often, when Poseidon encourages me to do a thing, we stumble together. This would not be the first time He has decided I need to approach something a certain way, only to have it damage rather than help. He stumbles, my Beloved, and it’s not His fault, for my emotional responses are a quagmire, and what works one time might blow up in His face the next. So we’re rethinking this One and the Same approach, and we might relax it a bit, and just take attention off how I’m supposed to regard Them for bit, and just allow myself to regard Them as I can, as I may, and just let it go from there.

Poseidon is steadfast. He is constant. I pull away, and I miss Him, and He reaches for me, and closes that gap, until I’m able to reach for Him again. His heart in where I reside, and it feels like He is my heart, that He is my capacity to love and be loved.

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In other news: I miss my brother.

“Take me deeper,” I beg.

Do I talk about going to His shrine, O/our physical representation of U/us, that now also houses Vishnu-with-Poseidon, and meeting Him/Them there? It’s confusing, still, and They move together, and yet are not the same, and yet are, and yet are not. My heart must understand this first. The mind will follow, or the mind will be dismissed as unimportant.

“We are one and the same,” Poseidon says, but then, “I’m glad that garland gift is not for Me.”

“Oh, that pink is lovely,” says Vishnu.

“Don’t think of it like that,” Poseidon says, but then, “I really dislike it when you bow before the shrine in that manner.”

“See how it serves her, though,” says Lord Vishnu, “and it is only fitting.”

“It isn’t so complicated if you don’t keep trying to pin it down,” says Poseidon, but then, “I’d rather have separate offering vessels. This vessel you use for your morning tea is Mine Alone, not to be shared with Him.”

“I’d like some water,” Vishnu agrees.

“You think of Us as separate beings entirely, and We’re not,” says Poseidon, but then, “maybe a separate incense burner is in order.”

“Oh, I don’t mind sharing,” Vishnu-through-Poseidon offers. “Can we please have yellow in the next shrine cloth, though?”

I address Them as separate, yet not. I don’t know how else to do it, for now. Vishnu is not Poseidon. Poseidon is not Vishnu. Together, though, They feel more . . . just More. Beth joked that the Vishnu that I’m experiencing is maybe Poseidon’s shadow-self, wanting all the things Poseidon rejects. It works well enough at the moment.

The heart must go first. The brain may follow.

 

Ta-da!!

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It’s not exactly how it’s going to look, for the Vigil, but near enough. I knew there was going to be a size difference , and I’m not entirely sure how I feel about that.

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That said, I rather like this Vishnu. I love to colors, I love the imagery.  I’m not 100% sure how the idol will hold up to bathing rituals, but I guess we’re going to find out.

Waiting for Him to arrive was . . . interesting. Yesterday, after dismantling the old Poseidon shrine, moving it to the bedroom, and setting up a space that was ready for Guests, I was excited. I found myself in a state of eagerly awaiting company that I knew was due to finally, finally arrive — and I’ve never been excited about company before. I’ve explained before that I’m generally glad to have had company, but I’ve been the sort to enjoy having done something. Having visited, having seen people I love and wanted to see. The going-to, and even the visiting-in-the-moment is often stressful and painful, and I went through with it because I knew I wanted to, even if it didn’t feel that way, because feelings are not trustworthy. Anticipation has always just been stressful.

Today, I woke up knowing He would be arriving, and at first the excitement carried through. Then I was impatient. I wrote — I wrote a lot —   and still He didn’t arrive. I was watching everyone walk by the house. Then the delivery van pulled up, and I wasn’t excited anymore.

It’s funny, being nervous without being super-stressed out. Being nervous without being overwhelmed. I unwrapped Him, and wiped Him off. I lit incense, and set Him upon the shrine. I’d cleaned off  the Durga  and Vishnu-without-Poseidon and Lakshmi shrine, and offered Them incense too. Drinks were offered (iced tea, accepted with graciousness and tolerance) and here we are.

Things are going to be interesting, going forward.

So . . . things are happening.

I’ve been quiet and withdrawn for a few months now. In part, I’ve been adjusting to life with medication that helps keep everything from being super overwhelming. In part, I’ve been working over time at the day job and have had precious little time to spare for being around on line. In part, I’m dealing with the upcoming vigil and the heaviness it brings with it.

Let’s keep it real, shall we?

I started participating in the YouTube Pagan Challenge, because I wanted there to be polytheist voices represented, and because I was hoping that if I did it, others would too — and that totally happened, and I’m super excited that that happened. I haven’t been watching, though. I haven’t recorded anything in months. At first, it was because I was dealing with the depression (depression that made no sense, because everything was fine, and if I wasn’t this depressed before when it wasn’t why was I now??) and dealing with the increased pressure to really, no for real, introduce Vishnu and Co into my devotions and really face this whole Vishnu-with-Poseidon thing. And then I was back east to visit family, and that was wonderful and awful and way too short, and then I was home and  appreciating the quiet. (I love my family, I really, really do, but the having to be on all the time is exhausting, and I know it’s because they miss me, and I miss them, and I’m not upset about being on socializing mode for that long, but it’s exhausting!) And then Beth’s daughter was out with her partner, and that was awesome, that was the best visit ever, and Corbie was over the moon for her partner, and then there was a ton of work and more work, and also writing, and not a whole lot to speak about on the religion front, and really, do I have anything worthwhile to say?

I had not one but TWO of my dearest friends express admiration for my sharing myself in my videos, and I have to admit that that contributed to the freeze-up of said videos.  And now, now I feel so behind that I don’t even know about catching up, and there’s so much I want to talk about, and where do I even start?

So, instead, I buried myself in my writing. I’ve learned to make covers, and while they’re not super-sophisticated, they serve the purpose, and I think they’re pretty, and I think they’re “me” — already, they look like mine, they look like  you can see them and say, oh, that’s Jolene’s book/story.

I’m happy. I don’t know that I’ve ever really been happy. Sustained happiness, where I get to look forward to things, instead of looking forward to having done the things. The first real exciting day I had, I think, was the trip to the coast with Corbie. I was so happy to be able to take him with us, I think I was more excited than he was. That’s the first day I really experienced what I think other people experience as happiness or happy-excitement. And it’s sobering, to experience that and realize that you can’t remember experiencing that before.

So, having help with the depression has been a relief — but it’s also made me turn inward, because it’s a quiet sort of horror, to realize how much of a fight everything has always, always been, and to realize that I’ve assumed that was normal.

Beth and I never fight any more. We snap, because who doesn’t get snibbish? I’m still a grouchy morning person, and I still have a hard time switching thoughts in midstream — but we don’t fight. I catch myself, or she catches herself, and we’re able to say, “Oh, hey, I didn’t mean X, I meant Y, and also, that tone wasn’t right, and I’m sorry.” And wonder of wonders, I can let it go when she does it, instead of digging in and digging in and digging in.

And that’s sobering. It makes me grateful for her, and it makes me  sad for her, for how I’ve must have been.

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I’m dismantling my shrine for Poseidon. How’s that for attention grabbing? 😉 All along, it’s been our space, His and mine. It has keepsakes, little found objects that I’ve received as signs or confirmation or reassurances. Gifts from people. It’s gotten quite crowded over the years. He is serious about Vishnu-through-Poseidon, Vishnu-with-Poseidon, and He wants the space to be welcoming to Vishnu, and so. So. Down will come all the flotsam and jetsam (see what I did there?), the various Poseidon representations I have, the sea water, the sand. Beginning with the Vigil, I’ll be opening the shrine to Vishnu, as well, and  since W/we want Him to be comfortable, I’ll be taking the shrine down to essentials: a cloth, a statue, candles, libation cup, incense. This will begin a year of inviting Vishnu to my rituals for Poseidon, and possibly incorporating some of His, as well.

Am I scared? How can I be? Poseidon has given me nothing but reason after reason as to why I can trust Him. Am I nervous? Yes. I’m nervous that dismantling the shrine and setting it up differently is going to be emotionally taxing — and I’m also looking forward to it, because I get too set in my ways, and I never want to be, to the point that it gets in the way.

Yes, there will be pictures forthcoming.

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You may have noticed, I also have a wee book project in the works — I’ll be writing little bits about my various festivals for/with Him, and publishing them as we go — again, starting with the Vigil. They won’t be long, or complex, and the point will be — I hope — to encourage people to create  what they need, as they need it. I thought for a while, maybe I’m trying to build a tradition for Poseidon. But, I’m not. With the clarity that lifted depression brings, I see that I just want to keep building up. I want to share where I’ve been, in case it helps others. And I have some of this on my blog, but posts get buried.

So, a bit disjointed, but something of an update.  I figured I’d inundated everyone with book posts for a bit, so you deserved actual substance, too.

 

Worshiping with Poseidon

A seemingly natural outgrowth of being mindful of Those who are important to Him is that w/We worship together.

This started early in o/Our relationship, though it wouldn’t be until Hekate entered my awareness that I realized what was going on, and even then it would be years before I could put name to it.

The first pendant that I wore in recognition of Poseidon in my life was a little silver and black-enamel cresent moon. I wore it in part because the moon  reminded me of Him, because I’d met Him under a full moon, but I wore it also largely because He deemed it appropriate.

The moon marks my months. How’s that for a d’uh statement? But even before I tried to adopt Hellenic month-keeping, even before I was using the moon to mark which sort of energy work I’d be doing, the moon was a huge factor in my religious life. I don’t know if it was because that was witchy-seeming, when I was a wee pagan, and I liked the romance of it. I don’t know if it was because being outside at night was soothing, and better than being in the house. I don’t know if it was because night time is quiet and calm and just more comfortable for me. I do know that Mama Earth and Gramma Moon were the first two Big Power feeling beings I interacted with.

Intellectually, it’s no stretch  to see why the moon might have importance to the seas, and so it’s not a far jump to the romantic language to say that moon may be important to Poseidon for Reasons. He named this Power Selene, and He did not request I worship Her, but He did request I be aware of Her.

Hekate was the first Power w/We began worshiping t/Together, and if that’s not unnerving, I don’t know what is. In the last month, I’ve been hit with the realization that, if She is so important to Him (and She is) and She has the connections to witchcraft that She does (and She does) then why the hell am I surprised to have Him be all, “Hey, let’s make magic together.”?  Really, Jo? I mean, really?

I mark the dark moon with Him, for Her. It’s never elaborate. Sometimes there are offerings outside, usually not. A prayer, often silent, in the dark, and a sort of basking in Her presence. I get the sense of young Poseidon at Her feet, soaking up Her teachings. A pale, human way of expressing how the feeling seems to me. She matters to Him, deeply, and I come back now and again to wanting to have a small shrine space set up for Her, but He never presses. I have a spot for Rhea, and while She also matters to Him (there’s this nice, confusing overlap between She and Gaia and Hekate and Selene that I don’t bother to try to unravel, because I don’t feel its important to unravel. I don’t know that the Mysteries are there for us to understand and explain. Experience, yes. Pin down in language? Not so much) I’m not driven to worship Her in any regular way, the way I am with Hekate.

As I dealt with my discomfort regarding the inclusion of a Hindu-deity-focused shrine space, part of my struggle has been that I feel pressed to have this space, and I never felt pressed, this pressed to make a space for these Powers that matter to Him. Except, these Powers also apparently matter to Him. It’s not all Him — Vishnu, yes, but Durga. Oh, Durga. Durga reached out to me, by way of Her mask, and I was smitten. There may have been tears in the middle of the thrift store, as I looked around surreptitiously. How did they not know what they had sitting on the shelf amidst all the Christian brick-a-brack? I thought at first I’d be gifting this — in fact there was a decent amount of back and forth with a friend over it — but it would be super expensive to ship (mask is heavy!) and I just . . . wanted an excuse to keep it. So I did, and She continued to reach out to me.

There is a sense of utter welcome, like a door thrown open and I’m ushered in. It is not my home, but it feels very much like when I’d visit my grandparents. Not my home, and maybe slightly better manners than I’d have in my own home, but also please feel free to sit a while and just rest, and here’s the bed if you need a nap, just rest, rest, and don’t worry about anything. She simultaneously brought Vishnu back into my awareness (I’d been doing nothing but knowing that Poseidon said there was a connection for months at that point) and also shooed the importance of that awareness away. “Don’t let Them bully you or make you feel overwhelmed. Here, have this tea, sit with Me, They’ll keep.” I feel bundled up, hidden by a shawl, tucked in close, cared for. She feels more like the being I knew as Mama Earth than any of the Others that He’s brought into my life, and that’s interesting-making.

Getting back to a point of being less overwhelmed by all this has meant getting myself to a place of remembering that Their shrine space is not intended to be a Hindu shrine for Them. Poseidon reminded me that w/We are playing host, that w/We have invited Them in, and w/We would like Their company, but w/We’re not setting up a space to be Their home so much as w/We setting up space for Them to be welcomed at. It’s sort of an open door policy, come over whenever you feel like it and know that you’re on my mind and in my thoughts. This re-focusing of intent has made a huge difference is the expectations I have of myself, and of what it means to play hostess. He wants Them to be part of o/Our experiences together, and thus, the shrine. So it’s become a lot more relaxed, and a lot more from the heart, and a lot less dire-seeming.

And I’m focused more on Durga study and interaction than I am on Vishnu right now, and He seems just fine with that.  He is with me during  my morning offerings, and the feeling of approaching Their shrine t/Together is a bit unnerving, but also absolutely astounding and a tad beyond words. You’d think, with Hekate’s Deipnon, I’d be used to it by now, but a world of nope.

 

Come with me to the sea . . .

Dreams last night involved being dragged out to see by the undertow. The beach was a familiar one, (and importantly, a lake and not the actual sea–many of my Poseidon dreams take place here). There was warnings of big waves, and there was a storm, and so naturally I was there. The water was all grabby hands and sentient enough to seek my out and drag me down down down.

Is it wrong that this makes me feel loved? This is a huge, huge part of why dream symbolism is so specific to the person. Dreaming of an aggressive sea, and being pulled under the waves, should be terrifying, and in the dream, the actual transition was terrifying. But once under the water, I was introduced to a whole society of People, who spoke to how important the violent water was, from time to time. Dreaming of drowning makes me feel sought out, chosen, held close, beloved, etc.

Much as I’ve enjoyed having dream-Poseidon show up all anthropomorphic in my dreams, dreaming of Him as the sea, as the water, as something that’s not remotely human or even human-seeming, has been comforting in a way that dreaming of Him embodied never is.

A few days ago, when considering the incense holder issue all over again, a solution was found by re-using a baby food jar and some sand, and it become about re-using instead of buying something new, and that was equally comforting. I realized that the ease on my buying-new-and-mass-made-statuary taboo was discomforting, and I don’t like it. I haven’t taken Him up on that; I bought prints, but those have never been off-limits.

Hours at my day job have increased back to 40, and I’m finding that I have less time to write and less inclination to write (fiction) during the week. (Well, what passes for the week for me). So I guess I’m going to be going back to my writing on the weekend* schedule, and that’s going to be good.

I’m knitting socks with some delicious BFL mix in a gorgeous dark blue.

Things are good.

 

 

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’.