Water for the Sun and Tea for Love

I’m personally not very big on elaborate rituals, as I prefer the small day-to-day things to honor my Gods and Goddesses. This way, I can be mindful of Them without being overwhelmed with the trappings of overt libations and offerings. (Not that this is bad; I just get way to anxious about everything to do much that is big and elaborate.) So, in this spirit, I conversed with my Deities, and They suggested two of the following things for Them.

First, I leave a glass of water on the windowsill in my kitchen for Amateratsu. I leave it out all day and let the sun shine on it as an offering to Her. That night, I drink the water (in the interest of not being wasteful) and refill the glass for Her. This also, I’m Told, helps me drink more water and be mindful of myself/my needs, while also being mindful of the Sun Goddess.

Second, along the same lines as above, I’ve recently started to leave a cup of tea out for Oshun, when I don’t make myself a cup. Usually, She takes Her offering from the cup that I’ve made for myself, but when I don’t want to make tea for myself for whatever reason, I will make Her a cup and fix it to Her preferences. I’ve even gone so far as to start putting honey in my own tea, which She tells me is for my own good, as well as what She likes. (“You use less sugar when you put honey in your tea, which is a good thing for you, My dear.”)

So, yeah, these are both very small things I do, and both sound very selfish, but since I often neglect myself, my Gods have helped me devise ways to both honor Them and to honor myself, which is something my Gods tell me is very important. I do sometimes forget, as I have a depression- and anxiety-impaired memory, but I’m usually reminded gently when my brain has untangled itself from whatever it had blocked it in the first place. Anyways, this is just a couple of the things in my daily practice. 🙂

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My Personal Pantheon: A Comprehensive List

Over the last two years, my practice has grown from just one Deity to many. My mind is blown every time I think about where I started to where I am now. I have no doubt that my practice will continue to grow and morph as time passes and as my Gods will, but for now, I’m comfortable with where I am. (This might be Loki’s cue to come in to shake me up and push me outside of my comfort zone. Again.) So, in honor of my recognition of my comfort and some confidence in my practice, I would like to make a list of all of the Deities in my personal pantheon, from The Big Four* to my Mothers and etc. Here is where you can find the schedule I have during the week for Them. Please enjoy!

– Baron Samedi: He is my Loa Love, my Beloved, my Husband. Baron was the second Deity to come into my life. He is the first of the Big Four. He calls me His Baronessa, hence my blog url.

– Loki: He is the third Deity to come into my life and is the second of my Husbands. The persona of His that I work with the most is the crazy aspect of Him, the aspect that represents the madness He felt once He was finally loosed from His bonds. Some may call this aspect of His as Worldbreaker. He calls me “The Bride of Madness” for this reason. Loki is the second of the Big Four.

– Poseidon: He is also another God whom I love deeply. He came into my life through my friend Shamaness. I am His in a way that I can’t really explain yet and have been since the very beginning of my lives here on Earth. He is the third of the Big Four.

– Susano: He is the Gods that has been my Caretaker since arriving in Japan, and I have come to love Him as well. I approached Him just before coming to Japan at my Husbands’ bidding. He presented me with an Enmusubi comb the first time I went to His shrine. Susano is the last of the Big Four.

– Oshun: She is the first Deity I approached when I decided to try being a Pagan.  With her guidance, I am learning self-confidence and self-love. Oshun is one of my Mothers.

– Sekhmet: She came into my life very suddenly just before I came to Japan. Since that time, I have learned that She is the Goddess that made my soul, which makes Her the Mother of my soul. I love her dearly, but She terrifies me too. We’re working on that.

– Sigyn: Not long after Loki burst into my life, I approached Sigyn to get to know Her more, the more I liked her. I now consider Her to be a very dear friend and a Sister of sorts.

– Amateratsu: She is the older Sister of Susano and is the Japanese Goddess of the Sun. While She and I may not always see eye to eye, I consider Her also to be like a Sister to me.

– Odin: He came into my life shortly after Loki came into my life, and He came in like a tidal wave. It was His presence that helped me learn of the true power and complexity of the Gods. For now, He is a Teacher to me, but somehow I feel that He will always be more than that.

– Hel: With my affinity for the dead, it only made sense to me that I should honor Hel, not only because she is Loki’s Daughter, but also as a Death Deity. She is also Someone I would equate with the term Sister.

– Narvi and Vali: I don’t worship these Two, but I do honor Their spirit and mourn Their passing. I give Them honor in what way I can, including taking Them with me to Disney World. I also have an altar for Them as well.

Alright, so I think that this is a pretty good list of the Gods and Goddesses that I regularly pay homage to. So, now it’s time for me to go party with Baron and the Ghede (since it’s Saturday, ya know?). Adios!

 

Boom baby!

* The Big Four are the four main Gods that I have devoted myself to. They receive the most attention, and I am personally bound to Them for the rest of my days.

Honoring my Gods

I have begun to notice a trend with how I am honoring my Gods, and it is not as I would have expected. It is most certainly not what I particularly want to do for Them, but with the way things are now, I am learning to accept that I cannot do for Them as I want to, as well as what I want may not be what They want from me anyways. My Gods are not shy about telling me Their wants/needs, but recently They have been very subtle. I seriously don’t mind the subtly. In fact, I think I quite prefer it, because it gets everything They wish for me to do done, all without the waffling and stubbornness I usually have.

Recently, I have been learning how to honor Oshun in a way that is pleasing to Her. I have been doing a lot more to beautify myself as well as making myself feel beautiful. I have learned enough Japanese now to order products online from Lush Japan, and I have spent a ridiculous amount of money buying different things from there. I can afford to do this now (which is a comfort all on its own), but it makes me happy to know that I am making my Mama happy. By buying and using these products, I not only makes myself feel more beautiful, but I also help with my goal of becoming more organic and earth-friendly. I like the feeling of being close to Mama Oshun, to have Her spirit with me as I cleanse the grime of the day away. It makes me so happy to feel Her close to me. It is in this way that I honor Her spirit. By making myself feel beautiful and feel good about myself, I can make Her happy.

In honoring Odin, I take online courses and continue to seek knowledge out as I have always done. I seek to expand my mind and learn more about the world I live in and to better myself in my profession of choice. I am also helping other expand their own knowledge by teaching others as Odin Himself (and O/others) has taught me. I strive to tell my students that learning English is not impossible, but that it can be difficult at times but it’s rewarding. For me, I feel this is my way to “pay it forward”.

I honor Poseidon by refraining (when possible) from eating fish. This is not an easy feat to accomplish, especially in Japan, but I do not choose to eat fish of my own volition. There are times when I have accidentally eaten fish (Japanese being hard to read and all) or where my coworkers have fed me fish without my knowledge/I feel obligated to eat fish when I am with my coworkers for fear of being rude. Aside from these cases, I have not willing partaken in fish since arriving in Japan.

For my Husbands, I honor Them by being myself and walking through my life as myself and not as I think people want me to be. I try to go through life being a good example of not just being a Pagan, but also as a human being. I do this my being kind, generally being cheerful and smiley, and by being loving. I do what I can to just be a beautiful person in general. This is difficult for me due to my depression and its associated symptoms, but I am assured that this is something I do even when I am not mindful that I am doing it, which is a relief. (This is not to say that I shouldn’t be mindful of this, but sometimes, when I do not have enough mental/emotional energy left to think of it, I can still honor my Husbands by just being me.)

In general, I honor my Gods by writing down my experiences and what I have learned from them on this blog. I honor my Gods by being myself and doing as I am asked. I maintain altars for Them and give offerings of food. When I eat my meals, I wait until my Gods have gotten Their fill before I eat. I try to maintain my health (physically and mentally) for Them. Mostly, though, I honor Them by loving every single one of Them as They are.

Through this, I have learned that there are many ways to honor the Deities that I have devoted myself to. In this, I can honor/love/worship in a way that is most suitable for me and not in a way that doesn’t feel natural. I don’t have to conform to someone else’s idea of how I should worship my Deities, and that in and of itself is so liberating, especially because of my prior experience being a Christian. I also find it relieving that I can hear it from my Gods what They would have from me. Yes, I feel self-conscious that I am not one of those very public Pagans (you know the ones). I worry, as I am sure most do, that I am not doing enough for my Deities or that I am not working enough with/for those that share my beliefs, but at least for now, I am meant to be working on myself and making my little corner of this big, big world a better and brighter place. This is now I can best honor my Gods, and it makes me happy that I can do even this for Them.

The New Schedule

Since I have been posting pretty emotional posts lately, I thought I would take a moment to talk briefly about something not so heavy. I have recently imposed a new schedule for my Deities, so that Everyone gets Their fair share of my time and mental space. This was partly (read mostly) because a Deity or Two (*cough* Loki *cough*) decided to Kanye all the days and make it nearly impossible for me to devote any time at all to the Others that I have in my own personal pantheon. Thus, the imposition of a schedule, as follows.

Sunday: Ladies Only Day (Oshun, Sigyn, Sekhmet, Lilith, etc.)
Monday: Loki
Tuesday: Poseidon
Wednesday: Odin
Thursday: Susano
Friday: Ancestors/Ghede
Saturday: Baron

Yes, there are Deities on my schedule for the week that I have not talked about here. When S/He has something that S/He wishes for me to share, I will do so. Also, I may add that Lady!Loki likes to crash Ladies’ Day, and World-Breaker just comes by whenever. It doesn’t necessarily render my schedule useless; it just helps me be reminded that Loki has no boundaries and to just be flexible (actually a pretty hard thing for me to do).

So, there it is, my new schedule. Hopefully this one will stick this time.

Changing of the Guard

Yesterday, while I was in the shower (which is my usual time for communing with Mama Oshun), I received some very unexpected and abrupt news: Oshun will no longer be my Patron, and that Sigyn will take Her place. She told me that it was time for me to move on, and that She had other work that She needed to do, but that She would still be my mother and help me in the ways that She had been before. I was told that I would not hear from Her for the next few months. Then, I watched Her walk away. Sigyn was there to comfort me and get me through the worst of the shock, which I am sure was the intent.

Needless to say, I am still a little upset, not that Sigyn is my new Patron, but that I didn’t feel ready to have Oshun leave me. She told me from the beginning that She would only be with me for a short amount of time. However, I was not sure what a “short amount of time” meant to Her (or the Gods in general). When I think about it, taking my feelings out of the situation, the timing does makes sense. I have been gaining confidence in myself as a woman and as a Wife, and I have begun to feel the changes within myself as I become more aware of who I am, who I am to become, and my own potential/my own Path. Yet, through all of this, I guess I didn’t realize that in gaining these things that I would endure more difficult changes. The light in the darkness of the situation is that I’ve been reassured that Oshun will still be my Mama on the Other Side (the only Mother I will ever truly have), which makes the ache ease quite a bit.

Odin was kind enough to give me a break from my lessons yesterday so that I could come to terms with my new situation, and now I suspect to drive home the fact that I am part of His family.  (This was was something He told me in one of my lessons this past weekend.) I also suspect (and by suspect I mean it’s Odin which means it’s probably true) that this was a lesson on how I need to learn to trust Them as my family, that They can be for me what Oshun was.

Anyways, so this is my long-winded update about the changing of the Guard and my further acceptance into Odin’s family. The times they are a’changin’.

For Mother’s Day

For Mother’s Day, I wish to honor my Mother Oshun. I know I don’t often speak of Her here, but I wish to rectify that.

Long have I considered Her my Mother. She was the first Deity to come into my life when I began my conversion, and She was the first I fully trusted (which is a very big thing for me). She was the one that I hid behind when Baron came into my life, scaring the living daylights out of me. She has been the Mother I always wished for throughout my life, and I cannot say enough how blessed and honored I feel to be called Oshun’s daughter.

So, here’s to You, Mama Oshun. For the times that we have already had: the comfort, the laughter, the tears, and everything in between; for today: the love and tender words; and for the days, months, years to come: I hope that as time passes we get closer and closer and share much happiness in the time to come. I love You more than I can honestly use words to describe, so I hope my feelings are enough. I hope that You feel every bit of love I send Your way everyday.

Mama Oshun, I love You.