Wednesday, June 19, 2013

The God Faucet

I often come across questions which sound something like this, “Do you know which god is good for bringing love into my life?” Or, “Which goddess was it who sees to abundance?” Or, “I need better self esteem. Should I call on X-god or Y-goddess?” Sometimes folks will even flip through an “encyclopedia” of deities to find a deity who sees to certain attributes. Often I will answer these questions as best I can...but reluctantly.

I cringe and hurt when I see the deities get treated like mix and match morsels that fit or don’t fit into someone’s spirituality trail mix. It’s not about us. Picking and choosing deities in accordance to what you need to bring into your life is a reversal of priorities. The act, this mentality, robs the deities of their individuality and splendor. It puts us at the center of importance when we are not.

I see the questions as backwards. It’s wrongheaded. Just think about it. It’s worse than going through an address book filled with friends and loved ones and asking, “Now, I need help in my garden. Which one was it who is great at pulling weeds?” Even one’s closest friends who love and adore a person are going to get tired of demands to do heavy lifting and dirty work. The gods aren't your personal friends, and they certainly aren't friends who will put up with these indignities. I’ve covered this to some extent in The Gods Are Not Your Personal Biatches.

The gods are not bellboys upon whom we dump our emotional and spiritual baggage.

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Safety in Madness: A Dream

So, will the person who put the Dionysian blessing on the polytheists please come forward and say "hi." Yeah, I felt that this morning and it was incredibly powerful. Message received, thanks.

I dreamed that I was moving to a new house. The previous tenants were nearly done vacating, and I was doing a walk through in the house. The attic was covered in faux red brick wall finishes and had a giant what looked like a brick barbecue pit for a light fixture. The man who had supposedly spent time there before I came to the house had enjoyed the finishes and he enjoyed spending time with his dog up there. I hated the finishes. I blinked and when I looked back, the finishes were gone; so was any trace that that man had lived there, including place memory. I didn’t feel the person’s presence. It was like it didn’t happen. The walls were white now, though the windows on three of the four walls were still there. There was a package and I opened it. It turned out to be a package of women’s reproductive organs, mostly just uterus and ovaries, like an anatomical model cast in plastic. I thought it was odd and the item amused me. But there was some kind of house inspection coming and I had to hide the item or risk some uncomfortable explanations to which I wouldn’t have satisfactory answers. A girl also had showed up from next door; she had wanted some place to hang out and she used to come here sometimes when another person lived here. Her house was overcrowded and her family was too noisy.

Monday, June 10, 2013

I'll Show You Mine If....

(A day in my life, in devotion to the deities...)

Others have gone before me, describing what their day details in devotion to the deities—Galina Krasskova and Sannion come to mind. I figured since they showed me theirs, I might as well show mine.

In an average day, like today, I wake up and I fetch my notebook to write down what dreams I’ve had in the night and morning. I’ve practiced dream recall and interpretation for about twenty-four years, and dreaming is an important practice in Canaanite religion. Lately, out of curiosity, I challenged myself to remember dreams for as many consecutive nights as I could and right now I’m up to twenty-four days in a row.

After jotting down quick notes about my dreams, I will wash up—face and hands, or just hands—and put on a plain hand-sewn linen shift (needle and thread, no machine), and a long plain scarf over my head. I stand outside the entrance to the temple I set up for the Canaanite gods; the temple is located in my home. I turn on the light in the temple room, and I use the sacred oil I prepared ahead of time to cleanse myself outside the temple. The oil is comprised of olive oil, drops of myrrh essential oil or pinches of powdered myrrh resin; sometimes I’ll add another essential oil or two such as cedar, marjoram, or cistus/labdanum. I anoint my forehead in a crescent and disk or an eight pointed star, or just make a sweeping motion across my brow with my ring and pinky fingers of the right hand,  and I anoint my hands. 

Saturday, June 8, 2013

The Well of Significance: A Vision

Sometimes when I meditate, I see and experience things. I have not meditated in a while, so I should do so now as I have a quiet moment here at home. Sometimes I avoid this practice because it can be uncomfortable, and just plain odd. But in prayer, we speak to the deities; in meditation, we allow space to hear the deities. Whether or not you believe I've been in contact with the divine is up to you. Here's what I experienced, if it is of value to you.

The rains fall all around outside, deeply and heavily. I breathe deeply and try to relax. I imagine and visualize myself surrounded by goodness. I feel very deep in this moment. I am very consciously aware that something is shifting, not just for myself, but for many. I feel as if suddenly, now, the deities are beginning to become more awake than they had in a long time. 

As I begin to meditate, I feel an effect around me as if someone left on an ionic air purifier, or as if a mild storm had moved through. The skin on the back of my right shoulder prickles. I am wary, but I know I need to breathe and get through the wariness. I invite the deities in and I ask them to speak if they wish to, and to aid me in understanding what it is they are trying to communicate, that I may interpret the message correctly. I hear a lone bird chirp outside in the pouring rain.  A sharp, piercing call amidst the slow drum of water drops. I feel myself get lighter or heavier, I couldn’t say which. Another bird trills in the background.

“O deities, please make your presences known,” I request. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Putting the Deities First

I have been asking myself, what happens when we put the deities first?

When I ask myself this question, I find my priorities shift.

When I put the deities foremost in my mind in all things, I realize what a tragedy monotheism has been and is. Henotheism, a belief in many deities and the choice to honor only one, is fine and indeed some self-proclaimed monotheists could be better described as henotheists. But the “crush all the other non-monotheists and deface their deity statues and temples” kind of monotheism is wrong. Yes, wrong. I used the wr- word. I realize it isn’t politically correct to use this word, but it is the best word for the matter. Crushing our deities’ images, their temples, and their sacred ways is wrong.  I see our great temples smashed, abandoned, or buried under Jewish synagogues, Christian churches, and Islamic mosques. There is no way I can get close to many of my deities’ holy sites in the “Holy Land”—sites which belong to my deities first and foremost—even to pray let alone make offerings. The deities are refugees kicked out of their own houses.

Further insult comes when in modern cultures the deities are spoken of in the past tense, as if the deities are as dried up and dead as the sands of ancient history. This past-tense language fills the library books of civilization and mythology as if we somehow grew up and got too old for what some called superstitious nonsense.  Supposedly as Constantine made much of the world Christian, we are all somehow better off. The Discovery Channel and the History Channel use past-tense language too, even when they have no problem describing the “reality” of extraterrestrial aliens.