Finding the Gods in music

Ever since I began to study and forging a relationship with Dionysus and Ariadne, I’ve begun to “see” them in a lot of my music.  Songs I’ve heard a thousand times are suddenly taking on new meaning.  I’ve always used music as a connective tool, but still, it’s really caught me off guard (not in a bad way though).  Three times a week I take my daughter to a marital arts class.  It’s about 20-40 min there depending on traffic, about 25 min on the way back.  This gives me a lot of music time in the car.  The Girl entertains herself and generally doesn’t pay me any mind.  I’ve taken to hitting shuffle and focusing my thoughts one deity in particular, praying to them for connection.

The first time I did this, Ariadne was my focus.  These seven songs are what played from a playlist of over a hundred songs and at least twenty different artists.  They didn’t play in this order, I’ve reorganized them.  I know other may see no connection but to me, I hear in these songs the myth of her languishing away in her old life, betraying her brother to escape it all, being left by Theseus and finally meeting Dionysus.

Listen here if you’d like.

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Self evaluation, 8/1/16

I’ve been feeling lost about religion lately.  It’s been years since I truly felt “connected” to the Gods, years since I regularly felt their presence in my life.  It hurts.  It’s frustrating.  I know they’re there, though.  Every time I truly begin to doubt or the despair grows too strong, They make their presence know.  Just for a moment, just a tiny bit, just enough to show me, again, We Exist.  I’m blessed that they give me that and I’m grateful beyond words.

After a couple years of floundering and clinging to Wicca styled worship, I tried strict reconstruction for a couple years… at first it really helped.  Learning how the Theoi were originally worshiped, how they originally revealed themselves to humanity, has been beautiful, fulfilling and rewarding.  But the feeling of “rightness” didn’t extend to the actual practice.

I still think a lot of that information is important to Their worship and there are plenty of parts I’m going to keep.  But for now… I need to go back to a semi-eclectic form of worship.  Just admitting that makes me feel dirty, tbh.  I’ve been railing against that for years- I don’t like the idea of not having structure, of just doing whatever you want and calling it worship.  Although that’s not what I intend to do, just veering off the beaten path makes me feel like I am.

I’m diving into the local focus polytheism stuff that’s been coming out the last couple years (that I’ve noticed, anyway).  I have no idea what my religious life will look like soon, if this will help me connect with Them, if it’ll make any difference.  I’m terrified.  I’m excited.  We’ll see where it takes me.

I turned 29 this summer.  My child is heading to kindergarten this fall.  I’m going back to school, to complete my BA in history.  Now is the time for change.  I think I’m long overdue.

A Month Of Devotional Thought (template)

Galina Krasskova suggested this as part of on-going efforts to bring the Sacred back into our world.

I feel like I’m going to do this, but I’m quite sure how I’ll approach it yet.

1. Write basic introduction of the deity
2. How did you become first aware of this deity?
3. what are some Symbols and icons of this deity
4 .Share a favorite myth or myths of this deity
5. Who are Members of the family – genealogical connections of this Deity.
6. What are some Other related deities and entities associated with this deity
7. Discuss this Deity’s Names and epithets
8 Discuss Variations on this deity (aspects, regional forms, etc.)
9. what are some Common mistakes about this deity
10 .what are common Offerings – historical and UPG
11 Talk about Festivals, days, and times sacred to this deity
12. What are some Places associated with this deity and their worship
13. What modern cultural issues — if any—are closest to this deity’s heart? (this is a question that i”m not overly thrilled with. It presupposes that the Gods give a rat’s ass about our “cultural issues” but maybe some of Them do and if They don’t, we can talk about that too, always with the caveat that it is insofar as we as individual devotees have sussed out).
14. Has worship of this deity changed in modern times?
15. Are there Any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?
16. How do you think this deity represents the values of their pantheon and cultural origins?
17, How does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?
18 How does this deity stand in terms of gender and sexuality? (historical and/or UPG) (again, a question about which I could not possibly care less, but I suspect the answers might be interesting).
19. What quality or qualities of this god do you most admire?
20. What quality or qualities of them do you find the most troubling?
21. Share any Art that reminds you of this deity
22. Share any Music that makes you think of this deity
23. Share A quote, a poem, or piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with
24 Share Your own composition – a piece of writing about or for this deity
25 Share A time when this deity has helped you
26 Share A time when this deity has refused to help (i really like this question).
27. How has your relationship with this deity changed over time?
28. what are the Worst misconception about this deity that you have encountered
29. What is Something you wish you knew about this deity but don’t currently
30. do you have Any interesting or unusual UPG to share?
31 Any suggestions for others just starting to learn about this deity?

 

Don’t be lazy- offerings matter

I just got back from a week long vacation to the Bahamas.  We’d been planning this trip for over a year.  My sister came from half way across the country to stay with the child, giving my husband and I a chance for romance we haven’t had in five years.  Getting ready for the trip was busy and time consuming and suddenly it was 10 PM on the night before we left.

I made a quick, half-hearted offering to Hermes for protection on our travels.  I thought of all the Theoi I wanted to/should have made offerings to.  But I was tired, and lazy and still had finish the last of packing, so I didn’t.

Our trip was TERRIBLE.  Truly sucky.  Everything from bad luck, to bad weather which canceled mostly all our island plans, to an incredibly expensive speeding ticket on the way home (5 minutes after I took the wheel!).  Seriously one of the most disappointing things in my life.  And all I could think of was how I’d earned this.  Not in an angsty self-hating way, more in an amused way.  Like, “well, I screwed you out of offerings and you screwed me back.”  It’s a good lesson and the kick in the pants I deserved.  It’s spurred me to be better about praxis since I got back.

 

 

Where I stand

My writing isn’t elegant and I don’t think I explain my thoughts very well.  I can’t calmly, logically lay out a debate.  For these reasons, I don’t blog and I rarely comment on other blogs, although I do follow a lot of them.

This latest round of fighting has been confusing and exhausting.  I suppose one person/group telling another person/group that they’re doing religion wrong is as old time.  Even so, it’s annoying.

Polytheism, at its core, is about worshiping the Gods.  It’s about giving them their due.  No human being on this planet has the right to interfere with that.  Not political activists, not clergy or religious specialists, not your parents or lovers.  No one.  I don’t care how vile I find a person or their political views- I still want them to be sacrificing, worshiping, loving the Gods.  I can call out racism (and other -isms), I can choose not to participate in ritual with them (because yes, I’m emotional, and my not liking someone would steal my focus away from the Gods, rendering the ritual pointless).  I can tell them their views are trash.  But I still want them to give the Gods their due.

I follow a ton of bloggers and I can’t say I 100% agree with everything anyone says.  That doesn’t erase the things I agree with or render them without value.  I’m not sure what happened to nuanced discussion or the ability to “agree to disagree”.  In example, a close friend of mine is strongly anti-abortion.  I vehemently disagree with her.  We’ve had a few deep, long conversations on the subject and at the end, we still don’t agree at all.  No hurt feelings, no lingering anger.  We’re still friends.  So this current culture is baffling and more than a little scary to me.

Anyway, I like the call made by a few bloggers to say what our polytheism actually is, what our truth is, instead of letting ourselves be labeled and accused of [insert -ism here].  Not exactly sure where to start with that.

So I’ll say, I’m a completely average lay-person.  I’m somewhere in the area of Hellenic Revivalist.  I’m not an expert, or clergy, or a specialist of any kind.  Those folks are necessary, don’t get me wrong, but I’m not one of them.  I frequently “fall off the wagon” of devotional practice, despite thinking of and loving my Gods everyday.  I would say I’m not “good” at religion, despite wanting to be (I’m working on it though).  I do my best to live well, take personal responsibility for my actions, to make the world a little better one day at a time.