Thursday, September 5, 2019

PSA, I am a polytheist.

I worship Rashap, who has played various roles, among them standing in as a certain god's Angel of Plague in a particular bestselling book which details how he played a key role in bringing freedom to a situation of widespread bondage. Hint: it's not Fifty Shades of Whatever. Further hint: it involved bloody water, frogs, locust, sunlight being blotted out, death of the firstborn...he plays one of the good guys, but I digress.

I worship Ba'al Hadad. I am a Baal worshiper: Elijah would abhor me, Hezekiah would hate me. People were so frightened by what they perceived as a threat in Jezebel, a Baal worshiper, that people wrote tales tell of how this queen was defenestrated.

Apparently I'm the scary thing under the bed. And now, I, the Scary Thing Under The Bed, contemplating lonely socks and dust-bunnies, need to remind myself to go to the grocery store for supplies to bake cakes for my favorite Queen of Heaven. And maybe bring Her that tea She likes. Oh dear. Me with my cardigan and headscarf looking for cakes and tea. Hide your daughters. Hide your sons too. Heck, just hide, so I can get through the checkout line quickly. Put away your torches and your pitchforks, or put them to their uses of enlightenment and living with the land.

Honestly, I want nothing to do with the people who demonize my gods, the people who say I'm a walking horror for honoring MANY GODS. All I want is for these folks to leave me in peace so I can get on with honoring my deities and making my prayers. You know, prayers of praise, prayers of gratitude, petitions for people who are ill and hurting, petitions for the downtrodden, blessings for the ancestors, wellbeing to the local spirits, actually living a devotional life...the usual things that most thoughtful people aren't frightened of.

I will make offerings at high places and I will make offerings in low ones. Even when my lips are parched and I do not have breath left in my lungs, I am still singing songs for Them.

Them. Plural. Gods. GodSSSS. P-L-U-R-A-L. They are many! MANY GODS. Lots. Like, more than one, more than two, more than three...more than you have fingers on your hands and toes on your feet. As numerous as the stars in the sky, as numerous as the pebbles along a riverbank. Many!

What has spurred me on to make such a declaration...again? This blog, the one you're reading right now, dear reader, got included on a blogroll of a website which claims that their god is in a war against the other gods during this wicker...uh, I mean "wicked" age of modern Man. Seriously, this blog is listed with what looks to me like a lot of other very, very monotheistic blogs about a religion I play zero part in. (I say "looks to me" because I do not want to click and boost attention.) How my blog made it to that list, I may never know. I'm guessing it was done for ham-fisted marketing purposes, and without actually reading this blog here. I refuse to link or support that garbage, so you'll just have to know that "I have seen things."

So, I thought I might clarify...for those who mistakenly linked my blog on a monotheistic page which actively seeks to erase and eradicate my gods and my religion: that I. AM. A. POLYTHEIST. I do this a sort of Public Service Announcement to anyone who got the wrong impression. This blog is about POLY-theism. Poly + theism. It differs from monotheism. By its very nature, it differs. It acknowledges and honors difference, the many, the unique, the plural.

You'd think anyone would scroll down and actually read my posts before including my blog on their blogroll. You'd think they'd do a little reading and discover I'm not their cup of tea. Nope. Didn't happen.

Yes, I am using this image of a cat o'nine tails (or a potential fly whisk, or hand conveniently holding extra knotted string for weaving).. for apotropaic effect, in driving off that which is unwanted here. Shoo!

Image notes: Happily, kiddos, this one appears to be in Public Domain. Share freely and drive off the eeebil.. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

Prayer During Hurricane Dorian

Those of you who have already been in, and who will be in, the path of Hurricane Dorian,
may your trials be as gentle as possible, and may your recovery be quick.

May the deities of land, and sea, and storm, and wind look out for you, your families (of two-legged, four-legged, of skin, fin, fur, feather, and scale)  and your homes, your habitats, your refuges, and your sacred places.

May you find haven in the storm, and haven in the storm's aftermath.

May you have light in the darkness, may your drinking water be clean, may the flooding subside quickly, may you have food and shelter, and may your communities come together that neighbors can look out for neighbors. May those who provide rescue and relief efforts be guided, strengthened, and blessed.

Wellbeing to you.

Day 3, Niqalu, Shanatu 92

Photo Credits: Lampião a óleo, Photo of an oil lamp, by Leandro Neumann Ciuffo, used through Creative Commons License. 

Sunday, September 1, 2019

Happy New Year and Festival of Dwellings!

A joyous New Year and Festival of Dwellings to you! Take a deep breath and enjoy the scent of petrichor as Ba'lu Haddu, The Thunderer, The Cloudrider, returns from the Betu Khapthatu, the House of Freedom over Mount Tzapunu.
In a meta-moment of typing the above, it seems that spyllchex (i.e. spell-check) does not like the word "petrichor." I looked the word up on Wiktionary to make sure I spelled it right, and indeed I have. It's a beautiful word, a poetic word for the scent of rain hitting hard, dry stone, and dusty earth. It never occurred to me to double check the history of the word.

On Wiktionary, the etymology is stated as being thus: "From petr(o)- (prefix meaning ‘of or pertaining to stone') +‎ ichor ('(Greek mythology) liquid that flows in the veins of gods in place of blood'), coined by Australian scientist Isabel Joy Bear and British scientist Richard Thomas in their 1964 article 'Nature of Argillaceous Odour' published in the journal Nature."

Considering Ba'lu Haddu's return to earth through the autumnal rains, this strikes me as particularly poignant.

I marked the holy day on behalf of our Natib Qadish community with fasting, feasting, and taking the deities on a processional through the countryside. They are currently housed in a temporary mathbatu, for a period of time, as this holy tide passes.

I hope you have a chance to celebrate our New Year as well, with praises to our Gracious Gods, with offerings, and with feasting. Ba'al Hadad, The Cloudrider, returns again as the season in old Ugarit shifts from the heat-death of Motu to the storms which pass over Mount Tzapunu. With the skill of Kothar-wa-Khasis, and the steadfast, caring support of 'Anatu, Shapshu, and 'Athtartu, Hadad is victorious once again! There over the horizon, our Sun Lady carries the Thunderer across her broad, strong shoulders and breath returns to his lungs. May Ilu stamp his holy feet on his lofty footstool and cast off the sackcloth of mourning. May it rain olive oil, and may the land flow with honey. May your New Year be blessed filled with sweetness and riches, and the rich, sweet life of devotion to the Holy Deities, in this the 92nd year of the rediscover of Ugarit.

Day 1, Niqalu, Shanatu 92.

Picture Credits: Photograph of rain on grass, by Adrian Benko, used through Creative Commons license