Centering, Grounding, Cleansing OH MY…

On Centering, Ground, Cleansing, Shielding and Warding from Nettle

I’m using Coyvere a lot for this post. < Coyvere “I don’t feel used.  I should be more damp” > This is really in some ways his area of expertise.

So what is centering, grounding, cleansing, shielding and warding, more importantly why should they be part of your daily practice. Really, they should be part of your daily practice.

Centering: this is when you gather your thoughts and focus your intention, which can be for meditation, prayer, ritual or just starting your day. An example would be practicing some breath works – closing your eyes focusing on the inhale the exhale lengthening the breath until even and smooth.  What you are working for is what is sometimes called one pointed focus. You have slowed all the other thoughts in your brain until you can get to the point of being able to focus fully on the task at hand. <Coyvere:  Centering is being able to focus on what you WANT to focus on and not random thoughts or environmental distractions.>

Grounding: when you have too much (or surprisingly or too little energy), it happens sometimes after a ritual or when working with energy your body feels jittery like you’ve had too much caffeine. What you are doing is giving your extra energy to Mother Earth. It is getting your head out of the clouds and focused on the mundane mortal things of life.  I always do ritual barefoot for this reason, my feet in contact with the earth or representation of the earth. <Coyvere:  You are not designed to be a battery.  Carrying too much energy is sometimes harmful.  Use it then lose it.>

Cleansing: everything always needs to be cleaned – yourself, your tools, your home, your pets, your yard, your vehicles – seriously everything.  Cleansing can be as mundane as washing something or more magically inclined of cleaning things with moon light, sun light, salt, Essential oils whatever you have on hand.  I’m always leaving my crystals or tarot cards to hang out in the full moon as well as before each use  breathing into to clean them of any past use. <Coyvere:  In the same way, you can look at basic house wards as walls that keep the dirt out.>

Shielding: is a personal bubble of energy or ward around you.  This is that classic white light in a bubble around your personal space or your aura field.  As an introvert I’m always going out shields up. <Coyvere: Really you are just pushing energy out of your body into your aura as a buffer.  That’s why introverts get exhausted in crowds – pushing shields.>

Wards: permanent protection around your home or vehicles that just keep bad shit out.  Coyvere is the wards expert. I do my own but nothing like his. His wards are complicated and what friends have called Fort Knox wards.  Mostly my two bit into the wards around the house are some EO’s (essential oils) l like – peppermint, cedar and clove that I spray around windows, doors and behind the toilets and under the sinks. These EO’s work well to keep spiders, ants and other insects out of the house.  Even better it smells nice.

Coyvere on Wards:  Wards at their most basic are the walls of your home.  You build your wards like walls to keep out the bad weather and prevent strangers from wandering into your home.  Unless you live in a field, you should have a good idea on how this works  🙂   Some people think that wards are unnecessary because they want the energies of the world to flow freely through them.  They should live in fields.  For the rest of us, a calm shelter in a time of storms is quite the thing.  If you function as a guardian in your community, you might also want to design your walls to be a little thicker and to be opaque.  There are so many wards…  Incidentally, Nettle is better at wards than she lets on.  Her plant oils draw on essences to power spells taught to her by…  teachers… and they do… stuff.

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Feeling Things

I have a confession to make – I, Nettle,  have never felt that silly ball of energy that we are supposed to bounce around to one another in a circle learning to handle energy.  Never once have I felt that ball.  I pretend like I do but mostly I’m standing there pretending that I’m playing with an imaginary round rubber kick ball from elementary school.  But I have never felt that energy that everyone else claims to have felt. I can sometimes see a shadowy thing out of the corner of my eye that corresponds kind of with that ball of energy being passed around. Plant and stone or gem energy I can feel but other humans I get nothing not even a tingling sensation in my hands or any indication that I am feeling a ball made of energy.

Nil

Nada

Nothing

I’ve been practicing pagan religions for over 20 years now, leading rituals, working with plants and cooking as a kitchen witch studying yoga learning about my connection to the divine and that seed of divinity within myself and I still can’t see that fracking ball of energy.

It’s irritating

But something I think as pagans we need to talk about.  Everyone sees feels or sense magical energy differently.  It is why if you have ever worked with me in a circle or ritual knows that I tend to get up on a soap box when talking about – nay insisting – that you work on your personal symbolism from the very start of your practice. It is your personal symbolism how you see the metaphysical world that will help you to understand and to feel energy.

So before I get too ahead of myself in this post let me start by arguing semantics or language use. It is clear to me that using words like “feeling” or “seeing” magical energy has never been proper nor do they come close to encompassing what I sense when I’m perceiving magical energy.   Perception works kind of but still not even close to fully encompassing how to describe the sensations I experience when doing magic.  As silly as it may sound when perceiving energy it is a very personal set of signals that have defined my symbolism.

Hence my soap box of LEARN your OWN symbolism.

To understand or to feel magic you have to give up any preconceived notions of what magic or energy feels like. That script we all carry because of movies or television or even books that give us a preconceived notion of what this energy or magic should feels like. The reality is for most of us is not even close to these preconceived notions of what magic should look or feel like.

Then you have to learn to listen to the oh so subtle signals that becomes your symbolism for magic being around you.  So lets go back to that fracking ball of energy. I still don’t feel it… I can form one in my hands or someone will tell me they can see one in my hands. In my very active imagination of my mind I can kind of picture what I might look like setting my intention.  Yet until I get that tightening sensation under my right ribs or that drop in the pit of my stomach I don’t know I’m doing anything magical. It took me years to notice those weird quirks.

When  I work on healing someone with Reiki I don’t always feel the energy as anything but cold spots and not cold spots the cold spots are where someone needs that extra push of energy to bring some healing. But I’ve never looked at someone seen anything other than their physical body right there infront of me.

So those of you who have walked this path for years or just starting out, don’t dismay that you can not or do not see energy as described by someone else. Instead learn to focus on the subtle language of your own imagination while in magical working. Magic is trying to speak with you it just takes time for us to learn what language the magical energies use.

How I see divinity

A good while ago Hope ask me to write a post about all the deities I work with, and then she cackled maniacally saying “I bet you would have a billon to write about.” I mumbled something under my breath about thinking about it and saying I’ll consider looking into it. I’ve considered and it’s a huge struggle. Not that I work with a billion different deities but I do work with a fair number of them.

So here it is almost a month later and I still have nothing to show for this post but empty electronic space. The more I dig into the idea of who I worship and how to write about them isn’t overwhelming because of the sheer number but more because of the intimacy I have with each deity I work with.  Sure I can start with the Greeks Hestia and Persephone some of the first I worked with but being Greek you don’t worship just one it’s the whole pantheon at different times. The Greeks evolved from the Titans and being the Greek god they borrowed some from the Egyptians who borrowed some from the Babylonians at some point in time that whole mess was swallowed up by the Romans.  There were or are so many gods and goddess just in that little corner of the Mediterranean that I’ve worked with at some point in time.  I’ve always been drawn to Corn Woman and Ixchel and some of the other Native American deities, both north and south of the equator. I got really, really sick and found Raphael and Reiki soon after Buddha, Quan Yin  and the Gods of the Hindu pantheon started to inter my life when I started on the path of a yogi.  Last by not least there is Nammu and Danu. So how does one start writing about this evolution of deities I work for and with if it’s almost constantly changing and evolving.

It was overwhelming

So I gave it up for about a month let it stew in the back of my mind hoping that something would inspire that a muse would pay a greeting.  It became my Herculean task and my Atlas.

It grew into almost two months of struggle before my muse popped in with some insight.  I think of deity now differently than when I first started worshiping as a baby pagan and that is why I was struggling to write this out.

Let me try to explain how deity has evolved for me.

In yoga we often talk about the Atman – the higher self – the seed self that where within each of us resided the divine. In Kabalistic teachings we see where the center pillar leads us to the part of us that sits at the throne or is directly linked to the divine.  While both these philosophies speak to a single origin of divinity that we try to name:  God, Allah, Yahweh, Boss, Primal Law/Primal Chaos and in trying to name we limit what this true power into human understanding. It is so much more than we or what we can understand

Carl Jung offered the collective unconscious and archetypes not only can these archetypes be seen in humans but this idea is reflected in our god, goddess and within a pantheon itself.  In most pantheons there is the creator of the universe, there is the destroyer of the universe, there is the wise elder, the healer, the home and hearth, there is the warrior, the trickster, the healer, the peacemaker, something for or of nature and so many, many more.

While I believe that when I touch on a specific deity it is them but it is also more, there is a part of them that is connected to the archetype sphere shared by all deities that share that same aspect and even more.  When I call or light my oil lamp to Hestia it is Hestia I honor, but in a greater sense it is also Hathor, Bridget and all other hearth and home deities humans worship. When I speak or meditate with Persephone it is Persephone but it is also that aspect of deities that oversees reincarnation and rebirth in all human religions. When I work with Kali as a destroyer I’m also touching upon all other destroyer gods and goddess we all worship. Same with working with Raphael it’s him I call but in a greater sense I am potently working with all aspects of Healer deities with in our universe.

When I work with Nammu and Danu even though they are not human I am able to do so because of this web of connection.

It ties in very much with the idea that each god/goddess in individual but yet all one.

Going back to Hope’s original comment of how I work with a billion gods – she’s right;  I do.

 

Lessons Hard Learned

We like to think, or hope at least, that as we progress on our Path that we have learned Lessons well enough to not let them bite us in the butt.  We like to think we have read and practiced enough to proceed safely on the Path set before us.  Sadly, though, no matter how much training, practice or knowledge we have, sometimes we get blindsided or surprised.

This happened to me about a month ago.  I was hit with something completely new to me…  A very real and visceral vision of a past life.  It started with severe pain in my back that catapulted me to a life millennia ago.  In the process of this vision, I learned a lot about myself and who I was, but also about events that came after.  I also realized that in a past life I was what would become a pre-cursor to the Oracle of Delphi.  I was not only an Oracle, but an Oracle of Apollo.

Let’s just say that the vision didn’t end well and things went south quickly in the vision and in my relations with Apollo.  Let’s just say for 5 millennia or so I have hidden away from Apollo and refused to listen to him for the events of that day.  That is until the vision.  Suddenly I was hearing Apollo, but a very sulky and whiney Apollo.  One who was torn by what had happened and wanted to make amends.  He wanted me to make a piece of jewelry and refused to let me bead anything else until it was made.  Even then he was still a bit sullen and wouldn’t let go of the vision.  He lamented what had happened.  And I didn’t know how to play counselor to a Deity.

I asked Nettle for insight.  She said it sounded more like a fragment, a piece of Apollo torn away when the event in the vision occurred.  The emotions attached made manifest and taking on a life of it’s own, needing to be sent back to Apollo to make him whole.  Coyvere however wondered if it weren’t more a daemon coming in and playing havoc.  Either way, the fragment could have become daemon, but it needed gone.  It was stifling me and creating much more tension than needed.

The problem becomes, the energy of the fragment/daemon felt like the energy of Apollo in my vision.  I don’t work with the Greeks often, I am more a Celtic gal, with a few other Deities from Hawaii, Hinduism and Ancient Lemuria/Atlantis joining the energies I work with.  So I don’t know who Apollo truly is when it comes to voice or energy.  He’s just never drawn me.  Never.  So I took it on faith it was him.

Now I was getting feedback that it wasn’t him but a fragment or Daemon feeding on the energy of the vision and event and continuing to focus energies there to feed and grow.  And if I continued to follow or feed him I’d end up on a path of illness and darkness.  That is NOT the path I want.

Heck, some days I don’t want the path of a Seer/Oracle, but I hear too many Deities, Powers, Fae and Dragons to ignore the channels in my head.  I will instead work with Nettle and Coyvere to better protect and discern who/what can be trusted.  I will be more leery of the new voices and energies that show up.  It is a lesson hard learned and one I won’t forget any time soon.

Now to go about making sure the few Deities I do hear and acknowledge are truly who they say they are so I don’t fall into this trap again.  Thankfully they aren’t usually that demanding.  That childish.  Or that clingy.  They don’t give me everything I want on a silver platter.  Heck, they rarely give me a straight answer or anything I ask for.  I have to work for it.

Perhaps that is the true takeaway from all of this.  A reminder that if it is served up on a silver platter to be leery.  Nothing in life is truly free.  Or nothing worth having is.  You work to earn it so you appreciate it all the more.  Or that is the philosophy I’ve always ascribed to.  Hard work is rewarded, rarely do things just fall into our laps free of charge.  And when they do, they are likely rewards for hard work done somewhere else!

Or perhaps the take away is I’m delusional.  I’ve heard it mentioned that I invite tons of things in.  That I invite this blindly on myself.  Even with wards and not wanting to hear Deities, Powers, or Others I invite them in.  I’d love to know when, because I tend to only work with another person or Energy in Circle during Sabbats or Esbats when I am with my online group.  I rarely ever do spell work at home.  I rarely work with energies other than listening to beads when making a piece.  I would rather avoid the Powers/Energies if I could.  I don’t want to be special.  I don’t want to hear them.  Because when I do I spend every day thinking I’m insane or am losing my mind.

The fragment/daemon wasn’t telling me I am special.  The vision I had seemed to indicate that once upon a time I was special.  A past life.  Not the current one.  I seem to attract energies like some attract lost puppies.  Because I can hear them, they come to me.  Like Oda Mae Brown in “Ghost”.  She could hear ghosts so when Patrick Swayze’s character died he sought her out.  Shocked her!  She was making it all up until that point.  Unlike her I’ve never made it up or tried to promote myself as anything more than a floundering student of the Universe trying to learn and make my way, while raising 4 kids without trying to screw them up too much.

I don’t want to pretend to be important or special.  I never have been.  I’m the eldest child easily ignored until I’m needed.  I’m the friend that is there to listen and support but easily thrown away until needed for others who will kow-tow and tell others just what they want to hear.  I’m a rock.  There for support and to hold others up while just existing.  Or that’s how I feel.  So no, it wasn’t to appease or boost my ego that I invited the Apollo-whatever into my life.  I merely wanted to explore the vision that had me writhing in pain on the floor.  It showed up and expanded on the vision.  But now I don’t know that I can even trust that it was real.  It sure hurt like hell to see it and the headache and replay of the vision that lasted for a week sure hurt and wouldn’t go away.

The need to make a necklace that feels too heavy and like it’s choking me was like a compulsion that wouldn’t go away and blocked my Muse from allowing me to do what I enjoy.  I did NOT ask for or want that.  Not in any way, shape or form.  I railed against it constantly.  I wanted to get back to my normal, day to day life.  Chasing kids and puppies and learning a bit here and there.  Going on.  I didn’t want to end up on some colossal fight to add yet more self-doubt and hatred.  Yet more reasons to doubt that I’m doing any good whatsoever, or that I have any reason to think I’m worthy of teaching or sharing my experience with others.

If the lesson was to remind me that I’m an insignificant little child put here on this Earth to be the laughing stock of everyone, then it succeeded.  If it was supposed to make me feel special and important because I can see or hear things that others can’t, it failed.  If the lesson was to make me yet more paranoid and hate the “gifts” I have, and myself in the process, brava Universe.  Message received loud and clear.

I didn’t ask to be an Oracle.  I didn’t ask to be a Seer.  I did not ask to be a Channel for whomever decides to come along and give me messages.  I did not ask to enjoy and have a knack for reading tarot or Witches Runes.  They were all things that came along out of the blue without my actively requesting it.  I’d almost gladly give it up, forget any of it existed, and go on as another insignificant and unnoticed human being if I thought for one second the next person wouldn’t use those talents and gifts to dupe others for money, personal gain, power or fame.

I don’t want these things, but by Gods they are a part of who I am for a reason so I’ll muddle through and figure it out as I go.  I’ll accept help, guidance and Lessons on seeing through the illusions from those I know and trust because maybe next time I can tell the Power out for his jollies to go F8ck himself a bit sooner.  I don’t want glory or fame, power or fortune.  I want to help others.  I want to share the messages I receive with those that need them.  And by Gods, some day I’d like to look in the mirror without the first words out of my head being “I hate you!”

Worship vs Working With

Glory says:

Okay, I think the differences here lie in the fine line of definitions and perceptions of reality. Relationships with Deity are rarely on equal footing. I don’t think we are ever truly ‘co-workers’ in the sense that we sit around the water cooler talking about how we hate a new rule or our boss. We aren’t created to be that equal with them. We can be extensions and work WITH them to achieve a goal, but we are the mortals they choose to do the heavy lifting while they guide. To me, they are definitely more ‘supervisor’ than co-worker. To assume or expect any differently just doesn’t bode well for us.

They offer us guidance and insight. But we usually have to work for it or pay for it in some way. Hope mentioned the various auto-immune issues once that seem to come about from working so closely with Deity. Different allergies and intolerances. Did we sign up for them? I honestly don’t know. Did I sign a contract for this life and every minute detail? I don’t know. I think it is more the broader picture and what we need to accomplish that we sign up for, the fine details are left to our free will and human choice.

We agree on some level to work with/for or learn from Deity and Higher Powers. We respect them and know that they hold knowledge that we don’t, so we seek them out. As much as we want to dictate the terms of working with a Higher Power, we really don’t  have the power or authority to do it or make it happen. (But we have the option of refusing to work for/with them, which does give us a great deal of power – Hope) As I write that I hear lots of laughter in my head; I guess the voices there agree. Or find the concept amusing.

Faith and belief are different. I have always seen faith as almost a blind trust, an unwavering belief. It’s a step up from belief. Rskald, my husband, has begun to believe in the Aesir, but he doesn’t follow them blindly and offer them his fealty or have faith they have his back. He says a prayer to them now and then, makes the occasional offering, but largely leaves them alone.

I believe in Higher Powers and talk to them. I have a permanent offering of a small bottle of honey to Danu on my shelf, small toy images that represent various other Deities to me [a bee for Danu, a dragon for my Dragon guardian, a cow for Aphrodite, a black pig for Hekate (don’t ask; she chose it), and a peacock for Hera]. I have a stone Morrigan statue as well. A well I made for Brighid. I do shots of Aftershock or a couple of other liquors in honor of Hermes when I want a package to arrive quickly and safely. I have sand from a beach in Hawai’i on my shelf in honor of Pele and the land my spirit feels is home. I am slowly coming to grips with the fact that A’palymi claims me as her daughter. I am a priestess of Herne. I have a teddy bear dedicated to Kali to help provide protection for myself and the kids from debilitating nightmares. But I don’t follow any of them blindly. I believe in them and know they all have lessons for me, but I don’t by any means believe we are equals. And, no, I don’t slight Loki by not mentioning him. I just don’t know what our relationship truly is. I speak for him from time to time, sharing messages and watching over our daughter – He refuses to give up his claim on Lokadotter. I don’t know if He joined Rskald in her creation but Loki swears they are both her father.

As much as I wish I could draw a line in the sand and have exact definitions and clear cut rules on how relationships work, I can honestly see Nettle’s conundrum. So much goes on, so many nuances, I just don’t know that I can find a pretty little bow for it all. I think our search for meaning, for understanding, makes us try to find the labels that fit. I think words hold many meanings and to hope for a label to work is part of our mind trying to fit everything into little slots. I think that’s why I have had so much trouble trying to write something up. My brain rails against labels and the pretty bows. I guess I have more in common with Loki than I like to admit in that regard.

I work with some of my connections for mutual benefit, some I gain personal growth and insight from, while others seem to strong-arm their desires from me. I know that in the end I can’t really stand up to any of them in the sense of overpowering them. But hopefully by showing I am willing to work with them to a degree they respect me enough not to try to take over, or as I see so many Christians proclaim ‘Deity, take the wheel’. I don’t give up who I am to worship, honor, or work with them. I am still me – warts and all. I think, in the end, that may be the real difference between belief and faith. I have a belief in Deity, Fae, Dragons, Higher Powers, and more, but I don’t worship and bow to them to create a faith to give them that power. I walk this Path because I choose to learn from them and help share their messages, not because they demand it but because I am able to do it. I don’t offer fealty, I don’t proselytize for them. I merely share the messages and insights as I hear or gain them. I am sure for some it is maddening. (I see lots of heads nodding here and mmhmm’s), but it is what it is. I choose not to worship blindly. I give offerings as I can. But I don’t worship at the altar every day, so to speak, because that is not what they need. They need the foot soldiers who know they are there to do the work that needs to be done, but still stay in enough control as to not become a mindless zealot. That is what too much faith and belief leads to.

 

Work and Worship – Take 2

From Nettle:

Worshipping and Working for: what do you mean?

Every morning I always offer my last good gulp of tea to Gaia. When we lived in another city and had a garbage disposal that was dedicated to Hecate as was our compost pile. First thing up, one of us check Hestia’s lamp, fills it if needed, and light it for the day. These are my (our) acts of worship.

Coyvere says ‘we all serve a deity whether we know it or not’.

Working for a deity, to use an old gaming term, is being a Champion of a god, someone who goes out and does things for a Deity. You know, slay the monster eating the villagers, save the holy people, etc. This should not be confused with proselytizing, being a missionary, teaching, ‘saving someone’, or spreading the gospel. These are all acts of spreading a religion, they are not acts of service to a deity. All the deities I work for do not demand that I go out and spread their word as gospel. They only ask that I spread my word as my truth so others may someday find their own path.

Worship is defined as:

-the act of showing respect and love for a god, especially by praying with other people who believe in the same god: the act of worshipping a god.

– excessive admiration of someone (or deity)

An older Greek definition of the word is:

– I go down on my knees to, do obeisance to, worship.

– Further breaking down the word ‘proskuneo’: to do reverence to, gods, ‘towards’, and kyneo, to kiss.

This is not worship for me. One of my biases, or one of my blind spots, is that I have always held a distaste or distrust of authority figures, more so if one is a leader in an organized religion. I often question what makes someone more holy or more capable of speaking to the gods than myself. After all, am I not already connected to my Higher Self, my Atman (to use a yoga term)?

– the spiritual life principle of the universe, especially when regarded as inherent in the real self of the individual.

– a person’s soul.

There is some benefit to being part of a religion that offers a standard set of rituals, a path to follow and books to show you the way. There is a downside to worship – to be a worshipper you need only focus on your faith. Most worship services play to faith – to just believing in what you are told, not to question and not to use yourself to grow but that you need a middleman to connect or speak to god.  Now, I’m not downplaying faith – faith is a powerful resource, but faith lets you ride upon itself. With faith you can believe everything happens for a reason, that god has planned out your life and is playing you like a piece on a giant game board. Faith lets you know you have a destiny. And for some of us there is a comfort in thinking that you are just a pawn on a game board. Others balk at the idea of being a puppet on a god/goddess’s strings, every act being controlled by the thread of their destiny. These people are the ones who see the danger to blind worship. How it never lets your god/goddess change or evolve and it is fact that everything must grow. Everything to include you, your gods themselves need to be free to evolve, grow, and change .

Faith, trust, belief, and worship all get jumbled together in a mixed-up word soup, all meaning something different to each person yet they have been hijacked by the Judeo-Christian religions to mean blind, unquestioning acceptance. It is accepted as part of our culture that should someone do something wrong no matter how small they will be punished. Tell a lie to your parents = suffer in a pit of lava for eternity. Kill everyone in a small village = suffer in a pit of lava for eternity.  This is where faith, trust, belief, and worship become muddled when we start on a pagan or magickal path.

Let’s first look at this myth – you must suffer in order to achieve.

You must suffer in order to achieve, we must suffer to find salvation, we must suffer to have someone love us, and we must suffer to have our deities love us. This is all part of the Puritan myth prevalent in our culture. This is not true.

The gods do not want us to suffer.

They want us to find our true self and to evolve towards this true self. I was reading the Bhagavad Gita as part of my yoga training and I was so confused at first when I read the story. Why would Krishna encourage Arjuna to kill the family that raised him? That would be one of the greatest evils of all times. Krishna does point out that his family had been doing some pretty crappy things and were planning to kill him, but then Krishna goes on to explain that there is no true death for the soul, that we are/will be reincarnated. That we must work to find connection with our higher self (atman), the soul seed within all of us that resides with deity, lifetime after lifetime. Each of us has a specific higher self, a healer, teacher, trickster, or in Arjuna’s case, a warrior. To deny this soul seed its true self is what keeps us being reborn lifetime after lifetime. It was more distasteful for Krishna to have Arjuna ignore his warrior true self than to do what was necessary and kill the family that had raised him. Krishna saw Arjuna’s act as one to rest the balance to the lands. Arjuna whose atman was that of a warrior/ruler was the best man for the job and in the process would stay true to his atman.

Okay, so that might not be the best example. Try this one:

If I forget oil for Hestia’s lamp for a few days, weeks, or months, she isn’t going to punish me, she won’t stop talking to me or offering her blessing or guidance for our house. She might nudge (can’t really call it a nag) as a reminder to pick up oil when I have the money for it, but she will not punish me. If I forgot to give Gaia the last sip of my cup of tea she will not make earthquakes shake my house, nor will she make the land my family resides upon barren and inhospitable. I don’t have a garbage disposal or compost pile at my new home, and Hekate hasn’t turned me into a pig nor has she stopped talking to me or answering my questions.

Because I have found my version of worshipping these goddesses and in doing so I have been working with and for them to find a better connection with my soul seed, atman, and higher self, whatever it is you wish to call your connection to the Divine.

This is how I see worship – it is a confusing mix of belief, trust, and of faith in this relationship that I have with the deities. When I started writing this post I thought there was a distinct line between worshipping a deity and working for a deity. After the discussion and writing of this post I am coming to realize that there is no difference – that line has disappeared for me.

Am I still going to struggle with the idea of faith, belief, and trust in a deity? Yes. But I know that I have the freedom, removing the fear of punishment, that I’m doing the best I can in this lifetime to learn from my gods/goddesses. I think it’s harder to learn to have faith, trust, and belief in myself. Perhaps that is the key.

Worship versus Coworker

Hope says:

You may have noticed that I don’t ‘worship’ any deity. I believe that they exist, since I have personal proof of it, but I don’t pray to anyone in particular. On occasion a reflexive few words will wing their way into the other spheres/planes – we all do that – but by and large I consciously try not to pray. I don’t want Someone to get the wrong idea.

And I seem to have a different view of things from my compatriots. Not a bad thing, really. Nammu wanted my input so there must be some validity to it. If not in this subject, in others.

I differentiate between ‘faith’ and ‘worship’. You can have faith without worship, even though it’s more common connected. I have faith that the Powers exist. I don’t believe that they actually care about humans, per se. They are playing a Great Game, with rules we don’t know, for goals we don’t know, using us (and others) as pieces on the board.  They might have favorites – I know they often claim to – but really, how much attachment can you have to a game piece?

Which leads us to receiving teaching from the Powers. Is a teacher/student relationship inherently unequal? In some ways, but if the teacher didn’t think the student was capable of learning, of ascending to the teacher’s level in knowledge, why would they bother teaching?  To make you a more effective game piece?

I like Coyvere’s explanation of how he views this, and it’s one that Nammu agrees with. She wants me to understand/believe that I am her child, and that she cares about/for me. And that the family/clan simile is valid. Does this make Tiamat my aunt or my cousin? The important thing to know is this – WE may view our relationship as a family/clan but do the deities/Powers view it the same way? Would Tiamat acknowledge me as a cousin/niece? It does no good if the idea is all on one side.

Sometime during the day I will light a stick of incense to Nammu and Loki, or perhaps a candle to Hermes, Nammu, and Loki. These are the deities I have invited into my home, and as a hostess I have certain responsibilities towards guests. I will also occasionally make an offering of food or beer or wine or coffee to them, inviting them to join us in a meal or a drink. I talk to them as I would talk to any guest in my home. I don’t worship them although I’m not above trying bribery to get something I want! I tell Nammu that I’m ready to learn what she wants to teach me, and I will ask for lessons, make demands, and generally joke around. Nic says I view them as equals, and I guess I do. I know that they don’t consider me so. As Coyvere says, a very young sibling attempting to sit in on an adult conversation. But I will work with them to accomplish something, or work with someone they designate. And I can refuse to work with them as well.

You can’t worship beings when you see yourself intrinsically their equal, or having the ability to become their equal. You can have faith in their existence, belief in their Power, and work both with and for them, but you can’t worship them.