Why I was away

Two months since my last post. Between feeling disconnected from my gods, and being heartsick, and…things I can’t talk about, there hasn’t been much to say.

I can talk about it a bit now, though.

Oct 1, 2015
September was a very difficult month, emotionally speaking. My life in general had been going well, and I was happy. The only not-great thing was that I haven’t been able to feel any of my gods for some time, but I figured they were probably just busy, no big deal. But their absence continues, and I miss them more and more the longer it goes on.

I know that things like stress can make muck up signal reception, but I’ve been feeling pretty good, so I don’t get it. Still, I wasn’t worried, I expected it would clear up eventually. But now it’s been going on long enough that it has started to bother me.

And then I started having some other problems, the sort where it would really help to talk to someone, and I found myself with no one to talk to; not only were all my gods silent, but all my human friends are unavailable too! I thought I would just wait a bit until someone becomes available, but weeks went by, and everyone is still unavailable, and I have gone from sad to desperately lonely.

But then I realized, everyone is unavailable. Maybe that’s my cue that I need to spend some time by myself. I wish I didn’t have to be alone, but sometimes it’s needed.

Once I committed to giving myself time alone, I calmed down. I still miss everyone, but I’m no longer desperate. I’m doing well by myself. It’s even kind of nice, not having to think about anyone other than myself, for a while. Not to sound like thinking about the people and deities in my life takes effort, no, having them in my thoughts is natural and effortless, but after a while I get so used to having them in my thoughts all the time that I forget how to be me by myself.

And so I occasionally need to spend some time alone, with myself.

I had been, unintentionally, alone for over a month already. But being alone, in itself, provides no benefit. I need to take an active part in my solitude, I need to intentionally withdraw from the world, to get back to myself. I wish I had remembered that sooner. I guess I need more practice.

I have no idea how long I’ll need to be alone. I promised myself that I would take as long as it needs. I want to talk about this, but I’m going to hold off on updating my blog until after this is done, as talking about it now would be the opposite of having time alone.

Oct 12, 2015
I am ready to come out of my hermitage. Twelve days? It felt like several weeks.

I had abandoned wordpress and facebook for more than a month, and was only minimally active on tumblr. My level of activity on social media had already decreased drastically, even before I realized that I needed time alone. I think I was drifting away from social interaction even without realizing it, but I still tried to cling to friends, and to my deities, and that had to stop for a while, to give me a chance to do what I needed to do.

It’s good to be back.

As I’m thinking over everything that’s happened and where I am in life, I think I’m at a better place right now than I have ever been. Sometimes it’s hard, but it’s also really good, with a promise of even better things to come.

Life is a struggle, but I will keep striving to get to where I want and need to be, and I will get there.

I think Sekhmet wants more

I think I’m gonna have to step up my game.

I am very casual in my interactions with my gods, and they have always seemed happy with that. One of main reasons that I like these gods is because they’re so laid back.

But now Sekhmet is here, and I feel like she wants more formality in my interactions with her. First off, I tried to put down a flowery altar cloth, and got a big NOPE. I ended up using a plain cream colored altar cloth; that felt right. Later I switched it out with a plain green one, and that was also good. So I guess colors are fine as long as it’s something classy.

My other gods never complained about their colorful altar cloths. They’re festive!

Apparently that sort of thing is not Sekhmet’s style, or at least not what she wants from me. That’s okay, I can do things differently, and would be happy to, I’m just not sure how.

So I’m feeling a little bit lost now, because I honestly don’t know HOW to do formal. A cloth is easy to change, but being more formal in my actions? I don’t even know where to start with that. I think offerings are fine the way they are, but there are other things I need to work on. I’m trying to think of a form of address that’s more classy than “Hey, how are ya doing?” but not so stuffy or archaic that it would sound stupid coming out of my mouth.

I never expected this to come up, since all of the gods I’ve honored up until now have been ones who didn’t care about formalities. I’m in unfamiliar territory without a map…

I guess it’s time for some research and brainstorming.

ETA: The feeling I’ve been getting from her is not disapproving, nothing like that. What it is…it’s like she’s standing there looking at me like “Is that the best you can do?” Pushing for more without being unkind. There’s nothing wrong with how I do things, but there’s a definite push to take it up a notch.

Sekhmet

One year ago, I took charge of my life, based on some advice I got from Sekhmet. Best thing that ever happened to me. Shortly after that, I thanked her, and told her that I admire her greatly and appreciate what she did for me, but I don’t think we would work well together.

I don’t think she’s more intimidating than many other gods, so it’s not that. It’s that we have very different personalities, and just wouldn’t mesh. So I told her I like her but don’t want to work with her, and we went our separate ways.

And then at 4 am last night / this morning, as I’m trying to fall asleep, this happens:

random thought: hey, tomorrow is our anniversary.
me: um, it’s the anniversary of that event. It’s not “our anniversary”, we don’t have a relationship.
S: uh-huh.
me: …
me: shit it’s our anniversary and I have nothing planned.

(Once again, I don’t get words, I’m just translating impressions into words.)

In hindsight, I may have been getting hints for a week or two, but sometimes I’m a little slow on the uptake.

Well. Normally I don’t care about anniversaries. Usually I don’t even know when they are, but in this case, seeing as it was such a life-changing event, I feel it deserves some recognition. Last minute planning, GO!

I feel like the odd one out among Sekhmet kids, when my reaction is “Okay, this is happening, let’s do this!” (as opposed to the resistance I see from everyone else) but it’s just the way I am.

The other thing I want to say is how much I am in awe of her. I didn’t want to work with her, didn’t think I could, so she left me alone to do my own thing for an entire y e a r. If that’s not patience I don’t know what is. I mean, I know a year is probably not very long for a deity, but when other people talk about this sort of thing, they always either get dragged in, or walk away. So while I have no doubt that gods could wait if they wanted to, it’s simply not something I ever hear about. But this was exactly what I needed, to know that we would get along.

And now I’m happy to have her in my life. It’s not even a matter of choosing; there’s nothing to choose, it’s already a done deal. It’s an interesting feeling, because on the one hand, this was kind of unexpected, but on the other hand I feel like, of course this is how is, how else would it be?

Reblog: Reconstruction, Revival, and Styrofoam Cake Syndrome

I wish wordpress had the option to show more than a snippet when reblogging. The whole thing is worth reading, but I especially wanted to reblog this;

“If someone invited me to meet with them and had asked others who knew me what to have ready to be sure I felt welcome, and thus gathered these things, I would be honored they’d thought of it, perhaps, but I wouldn’t mistake it for our already having a relationship.

Such gestures are the invitation to begin a relationship. The relationship itself takes interaction, listening to each other, and offering of ourselves.”

(…which I can’t format as a blockquote, for some reason.)

EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

Rev. Tamara L. Siuda has an excellent point in her post on Polytheist.com: Reconstruction, Revival, and Styrofoam Cake Syndrome

The Shinto poet Matsuo Basho, who also lived during a period of thoughtful, intense polytheist reconstructionism, wrote: “Do not seek to follow in the footsteps of the men of old. Seek what they sought.” When I came to my work with Kemetic Orthodoxy, despite that Basho never worshiped the same gods that I do, I took his advice to heart, and it has remained with me since. It is just as important to know the how of one’s polytheism, as it is to know the why. Rituals are important to us as polytheists, often to the exclusion of creed or belief, whether we are the polytheists of today or five thousand years ago. Going through the motions of a ritual with neither a purpose nor an understanding of the meanings of…

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Reblog: How to Choose a Patron

Magick From Scratch

Do not choose a god according to their might. Might is vain, transient, and does not lead to rightness.

Nor should you choose them according to which of them seems most likely to exist. Simply existing is no assurance of goodness.

Rather, ask of your heart, “What is your unreasonable wish?”

Ask the same of the hearts of gods. When you find that god whose wish is your wish, then your hearts will be like one heart, and your mission will be one mission.

Serve none unless this is true.

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Asking for help

Quote from something I read today:

“I generally don’t relate to the Powers in a transactional manner. These are relationships, to me. I give what I give out of love. I ask for what I ask out of need. We exchange in joy in the moment.”

Source and full post is here, but what I want to talk about today is a slightly different topic. I just wanted to share that quote because it’s something I’ve had trouble putting into words.

Occasionally I do wonder if I’m asking for too much, or if they’re “getting a fair deal” with what I offer in return, but I try not to worry about it too much. I figure if they want something they can poke me, otherwise I’ll just do the usual offerings, and that seems to be fine.

It helps to remember that, when I light a candle or offer some food or music, they’re not just getting the offering, but also my attention and friendship. I think that makes it worthwhile even if a candle in itself doesn’t seem like much. So, generally I don’t feel the need for transactions. These are relationships, to me. I give what I give out of love. I ask for what I ask out of need. We exchange in joy in the moment.

Another thing is, I try not to ask for help unless I really need it, because I don’t want to be dependent on anyone, deity or otherwise. Sometimes I want things to be easy, but life doesn’t work like that. I want to be able to rely on myself, so I always try to work things out by myself if I can. Then, if I do need help, I can ask for it without feeling like I ask too much, since I know it’s a genuine need and not just me being too lazy to do the hard work myself 😀

I don’t know, it’s a topic that I’ve been thinking about, since I have some problems right now, and I’ve been taking some time to think about what I can do on my own, and what I need help with. I think that thinking about this also helps me to know myself, and be more confident about my decisions, so it’s good stuff all around.

Settling in

On the subject of learning to juggle multiple deities…

I feel like it’s coming together. The first few days [after I first reached out to Them] there was much flailing. Then I got some advice, did some reading, adjusted how I approach the whole thing, and I don’t feel so off-balance any more.

Sometimes I feel like Anup doesn’t get enough attention, but I don’t know what to do for him. It’s easier with the others, since I have some idea of what they might like, but with Anup I’m like, “I don’t really know what to do for you. Here, have some chocolate.” But I don’t feel so lost as before.

Right now, my practice is: Offer a cup of water every day (just started doing that), and talk about stuff. I like the daily offering of water, because it’s something I can give them even if I can’t do anything else that day. I got two nice cups specifically for Their shrines. I also share meals sometimes, but that’s not a regular thing.

Sharing meals got a bit more complicated with Loki in the mix. If I’m offering a treat, like chocolate or fruit, I’ll put some on both shrines, but when I’m sharing my meal, there’s just one plate. I hope they’re okay with everyone sharing a plate, because I don’t see any other alternative.

I’ve also played my drum for Wep, since I read a thing that says he likes drums. I can neither confirm nor deny this, since I don’t get any impressions from him, or from anyone else.

I don’t get anything, but that’s okay. It would be easier if I at least knew that they were there…not being able to feel their presence at all was the main reason I felt so unbalanced at the beginning. That sorted itself out after I changed the way I think about my relationship with Them:

How do I interact with someone who doesn’t interact with me? I can dedicate actions to Them. Even if they never ask for anything specific, I could think of things to do that they would probably like. Even things like cleaning can be an offering. There’s a wide variety of things I could do, and it doesn’t have to be anything big or difficult.

It’s interesting. I believed in the existence of gods before, but having them be part of my life has changed things. Even though they don’t talk to me (or I can’t hear it) I often think about them as I go about my day. From the outside, my life looks much the same as before, but on the inside everything feels different.

So many deities

The deities in my life (for certain values of “in my life”) are Wepwawet and Anup,  and more recently, Loki.

That went something like this:

me: I have no interest in anything Norse.
later: *starts hanging out with Lokeans*
then: Well, Loki is interesting, but I’m still not interested.
later: Okay, maybe I’m a little interested.
later: Okay, a lot.
eventually: Hail Loki! Hi. Nice to meet you.

I had also tried talking to Geb, but wasn’t feeling anything. And then I got interested in Heru-Wer… I don’t want to be a deity collector! I’m no good at multi-tasking. *sigh*

Oh and I talked to Sekhmet one time. I owed her a thank you, but I don’t want to work with her; I think our personalities just don’t mesh. I appreciate her, though, so I wanted to tell her that.