An idea about divine relationships

Magick From Scratch

This post will be brief. I am thinking of the various ways that I have heard practitioners describe their relationships to God, Goddess, Gods, or sacred figures across trads. I notice that there are two basic axises… at least as far as I can tell.

One spectrum runs from Self to Distant Other, with Other somewhere in the middle. On one end of that spectrum, you have people who see deity as shaping their identity in some way. They want to emulate that deity, live up to their ideals, dress in their sacred symbols, etc. On the other end of the spectrum, you have practitioners who see deities as abstract forces of nature.

The other spectrum runs from Independence to Servitude, with Dependency of some kind in the middle. On the one end of the spectrum, you have witches who relate to deities like the postman, those who relate to deity…

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The Pagan Experience Project Post-The Letter C

February 23, 2015

Baby, it’s cold outside. The cold is usually inspiring for me, rather than tiresome. I live in what I’ve been calling the Frozen Northlands for a few years, and I love it.

The cold does a few things for me. It allows complete attunement with my environment, which is a startling grounding experience. I tend to live in my head a lot (writer) and I’ve got an active spiritual life  that propels me to be more in tune with the unseen than the physical some days, so the cold is useful. It’s hard to ignore the cold, especially when it skates past mildly uncomfortable to something that could be deadly if you, a human, are out in it too long with your flesh exposed. Nothing slams you directly into your body like frigid air. It brings about a perfect mental clarity as well when I’m out in it, and the stars are never so clear as on a truly freezing night. The cold inspires wonder in me-wonder in the world and wonder at myself.

The cold is deadly. This time of year always has me spinning my wheels in introspective ways, which is sometimes useful, sometimes not, but I almost inevitably come around to the aspect of death. I start to think about what it means to me to die, how to square with the idea that death eventually comes for us all (I’m mostly okay with it, except when I’m not), and what it might mean to become an ancestor in my line/reincarnate/both? So, the cold has me thinking about time paradox.

Weird right? I am weird, so that’s okay.

For the record, I think you can both be a member of your ancestry line and reincarnate because time is a strange, fickle bitch. Also, the Multi-verse. It’s a thing.

Anyway, the cold.

When it is particularly frigid outside I am always inspired to Hail Lady Skadi, though I don’t often during most of the year. She’s Grandmother Winter to me, and her kenning, Grandmother, also make me think about ancestry. I think the coldest times of the year make it easy to continue the ancestor veneration that seems natural to start when the veil thins around Samhain. If I have a choice in the matter, and space, I leave the ancestor altar I construct at Samhain erected until Beltane, well after the last wisps of Winter have left us.

The cold is also a direct opposite to my Beloved Friend Loki’s core-though He may NOT be a fire god (I’ll leave that to lively debate) He is a God of Passion and giving 110%, and that’s a metaphorical fire burning high and bright. Even when He’s outwardly calm His mind is always churning over something and He’s always got his fingers in about ten thousand pies. (Oh, the horrible jokes I want to make.) So, Loki’s calm is a deceptive calm, more like the calm before the storm. The deep calm of Cold Winter is a restful quality that never seems to fully take Him, at least not that I’ve witnessed. The cold allows the Earth to regroup, nature to rest, as it were, and I find that to be not only another metaphor about life and death, and the period of calm before reincarnation, but a sweet thought as well, that the world is resting now to prepare for a hard burst toward blooming later. The blanket of snow allows me to appreciate the furtive bloom of spring all the more.

So, friends, today C is for Cold, and all that I see inside of it.

The Rider

Amidst Fires

In the halls of my heart there comes a Rider to the door.
I thirst, says He. What would you give Me to drink?

They say He eats no food, but only drinks
I would encourage you not to take that too literally
If you’re not careful, He will gladly gulp you down

I’m not necessarily saying you should be careful

If you part your lips with words of thanksgiving
He will drink His name from the cup of your mouth
He will swallow your sighs and supplications
And breathe Himself into the hollows left behind

If you open your flesh to Him in ecstasy
He will sink His teeth into you and drink you dry
Swilling down the sweet and fiery heat of you
And licking His lips in feral satisfaction

If you bare it to Him in ardent offering
He will gently lap the honey from your heart
Like a babe at his mother’s breast
Love made liquid, self-emptying…

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Breath and Blood

Amidst Fires

Greetings intrepid readers! Apologies for the very long hiatus; my husband and i recently moved from the US to the UK, and it’s taken me a little while to get settled in. I’m woefully behind on everyone’s blogs, but i promise to start catching up quickly. I wanted to come back to my Internet kindred with a gift in hand, so i thought i’d share a meditation I’ve been toying with lately.

A few years ago, i came across a meditation taught by a Hindu from the bhakti tradition (i.e., the branch of Hinduism that focuses on cultivating a devotional relationship with one’s ishta-devata). I’ve since expanded and adapted this meditation to suit my own practice. Give it a try, and see if it’s something that resonates with you.

Consider for a moment the creation of Ask and Embla from Völuspá:

Önd þau né átto,
óð þau né höfðo,
lá né…

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I’m the Thunder, Not the Cloud

I’ve always thought it was important to be out there with what I do. Maybe this is because I’m from the generation of “overshare”, but if what has happened to me in my life can be useful to anyone else, why not share it?

When I was younger it was important to me to be a “loud proud pagan” simply because I didn’t know any other pagans. I was lost in a sea of fundamentalist Christianity. It wasn’t pretty. I spent a lot of time defending myself, and after a while I got bitter before I stopped caring all together what other people thought.

Obviously, what we do as pagans frequently touches on mysticism, which can’t be quantified by the mainstream world. If it can’t be quantified, it isn’t “real”, if it isn’t real, then it isn’t true. If it isn’t true and you claim you’re having mystical experiences, you must be crazy. Even Christians don’t quite trust their mystics to not be crazy. If you’re talking to St. Paul or Loki or Isis, there’s a fair chance others are going to think you’re crazy.

And I don’t disagree with caution. I think we should evaluate people on a case by case basis. Usually this stuff is only singularly useful anyway, but, even if you clump it into a person meditating with internally generated Jungian archetypes, it is useful to the person meditating.

When I try to keep stuff to myself I’m always about to burst with the not sharing.

So, I’ve been dithering. Some of you may have noticed I’d pulled down my blog for about two weeks. I did this in advance of a potential legal situation with my family (actually having nothing to do with my being mentally balanced or not-though I don’t doubt they would go there). I was afraid this blog and my spiritual practices would be used against me in the court system. I’ve gone from afraid to seriously pissed off that I have to be afraid: for my freedom of religion, for my freedom in general, for keeping custody of my children potentially, simply because my family is angry and would try to attack me on any front possible. I’ve even considered a pre-emptive mental evaluation just so I can have something to wave in the face of any judge or social workers who interview me.

But, I cannot live my life in fear. I’ve never been afraid of being pagan. I’ve never been afraid of being different, and if someone tries to use my spiritual work against me? Well, bring it. My children are well cared for and if I have to fight not to be pathologized because I’m a Lokean instead of a devout Christian (which is still fairly socially acceptable at this point), so be it. Loki’s path is never a quiet one.