Polytheist Meme

I’d would like to try and come back to this blog again… After having been silence for so long. It’s unusual to me. I keep practicing in my corner, and writing in my personal grimoires, but I have been unable to share some bits in the open. Whatever one says about Galina Krasskova, she still proposes many things that help us move forward and share. I found her meme on her blog, and I think it is a really excellent idea. So, I’ll try to answer to these questions in the coming future, one at a time, very slowly. It may bring me back.

1. What wealth have the divinities brought into your life?

2. What does your tradition do to increase the power and flow of blessings?

3. How have the divinities helped you in times of adversity and violent upheaval?

4. What are some of the ways that you communicate with the divinities?

5. If you could travel anywhere on pilgrimage where would it be and what would you do?

6. What does it feel like when one receives inspiration from the divinities?

7. What offerings do you make in your tradition and why?

8. What methods of inducing altered states of conscious does your tradition have?

9. How does your tradition handle wrathful, savage and destructive divinities?

10. Have you encountered any obstacles as a result of your religion?

11. What blocks to devotion have you had to overcome?

12. What sort of festivals, memorials or seasonal observances do you keep throughout the year?

13. Have you ever found it difficult to uphold your end of a bargain with the divinities?

14. What role does mystery play in your tradition?

15. What methods does your tradition employ for protection and the warding off of malign influences?

16. What devotional goals have you set for yourself?

17. What qualities should a leader in your tradition possess?

18. What does fertility mean to you?

19. How do you incorporate movement into your worship?

20. Does your religion help you to be a better human being?

21. Have you ever had dreams or visions sent by the divinities?

22. What customs are associated with the home and family in your tradition?

23. When did it first dawn on you that the divinities are real?

24. What have you inherited from your ancestors?

D is for Darkness, Diving and Descent

Quite late I know, but as I said, I’m going to participate very “freely” to the Pagan Blog Project.

I have found a marvelous article that revists the meaning of “dark” and “darkness”, giving great quotes as it goes. I thank this person for having written it. I was very astonished, because it indulges into paths that really do not correspond to my own (goddess spirituality, or at least a very sexually feminine oriented  view of things), but it still provides much food for thought. I found there hints at what my most intense experiences of the last 2 years were. I advise you to read it, because it really was my starting point, and it has an important frame of reference (feminine spirituality). The following diverges from it, and gets out of a feminine paradigm entirely.

Just a short example, this movement is what called to me :

In the book Meditation Secrets for Women, Camille Maurine writes about the idea of descent and “going down” into one’s own dark places:  “There are times in a woman’s life when the call downward is a transformative journey, a summons to the depths of the soul. People tend to think of spirituality as rising upward into the sky. In the traditional (male) teachings, enlightenment is often described as a flight from the lower centers of the body, the instinctive and sexual places, to the upper centers in the head and then out. By contrast, a woman’s spiritual quest at some point leads to a soulful sinking down into herself. Everyone fears this descent, this sinking down. Yet sinking down connects us with the earth, with our personal ground, with our foundation. There is a secret in ‘endarkenment.’” [p. 210, emphasis mine]

But I do not share the *”sexist” view which it contains (*view regarding sex). The division it evokes does not exist in my personal frame, and regarding traditions in general, I’m not sure it does too… But anyway, my point is as follows. First, I think we all emerge from the same place of darkness, and that anyone should experience this downward movement no matter what their sex/gender is (maybe it could even be a way of bringing us all together). Second, the problem she describes is even wider to me :  in our modern revival of the spiritualities, everyone is “taught” (or thinks wrongly?) that they should strive towards the spiritual, thus dropping the body and all.

So, here comes my brooding.

Darkness is not only a place of chaos and destruction. Here is another great quote from the article :

The Dark Goddess need not automatically associate or translate into “bad” or “suffering” or “negative” or “shadow side.” I think of the darkness as a cocoon. I think of the womb. I think of germination. I think of a place to rest, to wait, to be still, and to transform. Emergence. Deepness. Rich earthiness.

I have to skip goddess, dark goddess, and womb, because it does not speak to me, but it works. Darkness is the Void which contains all possibility (rather than the matrix of the womb then). It is the Void of the Norse culture, which surrounds the Worlds and Life (and Death too!), the Void where Wyrd springs from. It is the Night before Creation, where the primordial isle springs from (and here you have a part of my work with Ptah and Nefertum). It is like the darkness of the cave, where mushrooms proliferate ; the darkness of the undergrowth of the wood where mosses run wild… Where small life swarms. It is a very place of fear, because it is the ambiguous place where life and death meet. A place where life springs from the humus from death and decay and rot. She quotes a woman who puts it very nicely :

In the same book, Maurine describes the soul in very different terms than in classic Christian conceptions:  “The realm of the soul is not light and airy, but more like mud: messy, wet, and fertile. Soul processes go on down there with the moss and worms, down there with the decaying leaves, down there where death turns into life.

It is a place of generation and regeneration. That is what primal mean to me. It’s full of senses, smells, touch, colors, textures… It is full of wild life, insects, animals, … It where I met the primal Spirits and the primal Gods – where I re-discovered myself, when I get back on track with my whole being, body and soul.

This is what I meant by “diving”. I think doing what we call “shadow work” is not only the Jungian study of our repressed emotions, our fears, etc. It’s not (only) about anger and such. “Shadow work” in my own path, my UPG (maybe I should stop calling it shadow work?) is “primal work” : it’s about getting to the floor, getting to the mud. Understanding the power of creation in the widder sense. The Creation of the Cosmos, the creation of beings, birth, … Understanding the place where you came from, and how you came to be. Understanding that the power that was put to create you can be channeled, and re-created, at will. This work is about diving into the depth of your own being were your most inner mysteries unfold. Into your mud ; into your body ; your raw emotions ; your animal core ; etc.

Dionysos was the first to lead me there. He was very efficient, and guided me through very painful soul fragment reintegrations. He may have been very happy too, because he passed me to the hands of other primal Gods, like Jormungandr, who made me dive even deeper. The Descent is not always to Hell, diving into the Dark maybe diving into the unknown, but in fact it is known for it is ourselves, our cores, that we just refuse to acknowledge. The “know thyself” I took in this sense. Diving into your darkness and the darkness of Creation. But as a fellow literary student said to me very bluntly (I just love my literature seminar!) : the Dionysian paradigm is two-folded ; it takes you back to the body, to very earthy thing ; but only for a time, because it then transforms them, and makes them unearthly. And that doesn’t only means weird, that means literally not from the earth, but transcended. It is diving into the bottom of the sea, and tapping to get back to the surface and beyond.

Of Silence II

To complete this recent article, I may post images or quotes to introduce new “faces” of Silence. I found thanks to our support group a quote that is very interesting : it denotes Silence in his first sense, as it being an inability to hear, or an absence of sounds. It is very interesting to observe Silence as a form of necessarity / inevitable disconnexion.

I love that you’ve titled this post “Lacuna.” I had to look up what a Lacuna is, but I find it compelling, particularly as it’s used in music.

From Wikipedia: “In music, a lacuna is an intentional, extended passage in a musical work during which no notes are played.” “Contrast this to a musical rest, which is of much shorter duration and a normal part of musical performance that serves to create rhythm and movement between notes. In general, rests do not call attention to themselves in the perception of the listener, whereas lacunae actively force the listener to experience silence as part of the overall performance.”

In my own spiritual practice, I have experienced many “spiritual lacunae,” where the Holy Ones are silent, _actively silent_ in order to force me to experience silence as part of our relationship. I think I am going to incorporate this word into how I speak on religion. Thank you.

– Source : Matthew Gerlach on Galina’s blog.

It doesn’t interest me…

It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living
I want to know what you ache for
and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

It doesn’t interest me how old you are
I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool
for love
for your dreams
for the adventure of being alive.

It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon…
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed
from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain
mine or your own
without moving to hide it
or fade it
or fix it.

I want to know if you can be with joy
mine or your own
if you can dance with wildness
and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your
fingers and toes
without cautioning us to
be careful
be realistic
to remember the limitations of being human.

It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me
is true.
I want to know if you can
disappoint another
to be true to yourself.

If you can bear the accusation of betrayal
and not betray your own soul.
If you can be faithless
and therefore trustworthy.

I want to know if you can see Beauty
even when it is not pretty
every day.
And if you can source your own life
from its presence.

I want to know if you can live with failure
yours and mine
and still stand on the edge of the lake
and shout to the silver of the full moon,
“Yes.”

It doesn’t interest me
to know where you live or how much money you have.
I want to know if you can get up
after a night of grief and despair
weary and bruised to the bone
and do what needs to be done
to feed the children.

It doesn’t interest me who you know
or how you came to be here.
I want to know if you will stand
in the center of the fire
with me
and not shrink back.

It doesn’t interest me where or what or with whom
you have studied.
I want to know what sustains you
from the inside
when all else falls away.

I want to know if you can be alone
with yourself
and if you truly like the company you keep
in the empty moments.

Oriah Mountain Dreamer

The Winter Solstice 2012

It is really hard to come here and to gather my thoughts.

The more time passes and the less “wordy” I become, both because my Path included Silence as a Sacred behavior, but also because my cognitive pattern becomes less and less intellectually inclined. As I turned to the Spirit World in depth, my pattern grew stronger and stronger, and less ans less intellectual/verbal. My gifts are all but about words, and they are growing, and leading me away from that. It is images, symbols, and most of all, senses. The empathy is really an energetic sensor of everything, a brand new way to read the world, the worlds. But I’m deviating from my topic. Of course with all the bullshit we read about the end of the world it is very delicate to come here and talk about what we feel about what is really happening. I feel fear and shame, and apprehension. But here I am, and I will try.

Yule or “Winternight” has always been my favorite sacred time of the year. I don’t even know why, and it’s really paradoxical because I have a very harsh family history around it. But I guess… I’ve always been someone who is particularly sensitive to light, exactly like a painter (except I don’t paint well), and Yule is the best or strongest time of the year. It was in my body, in my bones, in my heart and soul : the period is dark, and here in France we had two previous years where snow was in the air, reinforcing a period of retreat. The warmth of the home, time to purify, time to find new light in our lives and in our hearts, to strengthen human bonds…. Yule is marvellous, Yule has always been to me the brighter period of the year. Yes, weird, but you heard it. To me, the light of Yule is all the more so purer because we know exactly how to appreciate it in contrast to the enclosing darkness. Because the light is in us. I felt the starkness, the peeling off of the things that were hindering us. Purity, simplicity, the essential. Love, human warmth, values.

Something that I’ve found very weird and funny, is that Yule is actually the End of the World – each year ! Not because our administrative calendar sets the end of the year on the 31st December, but because the power of the cycle of light. Because each year, as light declines, it affects us greatly, some are even distressed or depressed. Each year, we meditate on what we have and what we care about, and we pray for the return of the light. In Ancient Times if I remember correctly, each year was a sort of ritual to invoke the sun and ask for its return, because we were not sure it would. Each Yule, from the Solstice to the end of December, was a possible end.

So what is different this year ? Nothing. Except the power.

This year is again an end of the world, an ultimate step of the cycle. But yes, this year, those who are sensitive can feel the momentum of the moment. It is stronger that any Yule I’ve seen before. So, while I wonder about previous Yules I have not known because I wasn’t “aware” / “awoken”, and wasn’t a polytheist and such, I still feel a difference this year. Previous sensations are present : as I feel we are passing under an arch, or through a door. But I also feel more high and intense energy, and an even stronger feeling of suspension. The Spirits and Gods have never been that relentless and that loud. Again, was I able to hear and feel that much before ? Maybe not, but still, when they express so much energy, even unsensitive people can feel it. So if they had been, I could I have felt something before… but I didn’t.

My Allies have pushed forward very hard this year, this whole year. They have pressured me, and always told me in essence “you have to do this and this before the winter solstice”. I had to transform, and quick. I had to grow, I had to learn who I was, I had to accept and begin to grasp my power. Before you scorn this down, let me say that I still have no ideas why, and that I don’t believe in a great plan, in the rescue of only the enlighted souls etc. But in spite of this, my Spirits speeded up my training. And I’ve observed this not only for me, but for many spiritual people, and fellow spirit-workers (to be general). So while the “why” is still unanswered, I feel like a new generation might have been brought in. That many people needed to consolidate their faith and their path to pass through the door of this Winter Solstice. Is it for what is happening ahead ? yes, I think so, even if I can’t remember the nature of what I’ve seen. But I’ve seen Gods behave in very strange ways. Gods that were so close to me and yet let me down till today. They left me alone, they didn’t answer my calls. I was left with my Spirits, and fortunately they are a whole “pack”, so I wasn’t alone. But feeling their impatience, their febrility, and their preparing… for what ? I don’t know, but the thing is that they are preparing. I also was attacked by a bunch of troubled spirits. As a reminder : NO I don’t believe I was attacked because I have more light than others. But the fact that some spirits didn’t behave, while otherwise people don’t get that easy in trouble usually… it’s a synchronicity that might add to the whole.

Thus, on a personal level, this is the end of a world, the end of my world. I will never be the same person I was. I went through harsh diseases and harsh death and rebirth processes. I was refined, I was pushed, and I participated in the process. But now, on the verge on this leap (because I think it is a leap), I feel the momentum for me. I have got information about my path, my life’s direction, myself and who I am, what I am, what work I am supposed to do, who are my strongest allies, … and my power is growing. No, I’m no super-hero, I won’t save the world blablabla. I’m just me, I’m a spiritual person, and I have been called. And after I was kind of traumatised in order for me to acknowledge it, I am beginning to accept it, more than that : to step into the right position. To actually be what I am. It is not only unprecedented, but it is also a no-way back thing. Moving forward for good. Recently I behaved with my Spirits in ways that hugely surprise me, I have been firm and daring, I have started to lead instead of being led. And that, that really could be the occasion for a personal celebration, a real sacrament ceremony. Not for the world, but for me, for my path, my life. And of course then (but only then), for the people whose web is linked to mine.

And I have the feeling that this is the case for many people out there. That we, separately, and yet all together, we are coming to an apex, to a new step and a new leap. I feel the veil between the worlds is thinner than ever, more than any Samhain or else I’ve seen. I feel so much, I can see so much… It is as if there were no veil anymore between our worlds. I just can see and feel through. It is alive. It is here.

And what touches me even more, is that I have a growing warmth in me. Today, I know that many people will send thoughts my way, and that they mean it. This year may have been harsh, but as a Spirit-worker, Death-worker, psychopomp, I have never been that supported. I have learned to share with the right people, to ask for help, and it is so new and precious. I’ve built myself a network of allies, not only in the spirit world anymore. Those people have a real spiritual value for me, but human too. They could be, well, many of them already are in fact, my friends. It reminds me of what Dusken wrote recently, that we are a web of light. We are here to listen to each other, to share insights, to care for and support each other. And we will grow together. As I’m going to step forward I will not be alone. Never again. Which is why even if I’m not a fan of doing such things publicly, I will quote their names and thank them here. To Sannion, Columbine, Seastruck, Raan, Heather, Kajana, Liz, and Rebecca, I raise my glass. You are my closest, my foundation. But many more are dear to my heart. Like Beth, whose recent (professional!) spiritual help was priceles. Moreover, I was also deeply glad and relieved that the English speaking community is so wide, and that many people take the time to write, for their words taught and inspired me. Many people I cannot name, for this list would be too long. A community that builds up through articles and blogs, and private networks (forums, groups).

All I want for today is to meditate on this new world of mine, on what it means for my path, and be grateful. And tonight, I’ll come forward to my Spirits and Gods, and I will introduce myself again, but anew. And we will discuss the future, what has to be done, and how to bring the Light forth again.

————-

I’ll put here articles about this Solstice that speak to my heart.

First of them is Columbine’s, who brought me the courage to write here today.

Then is Seastruck’s piece.