A for Amateratsu

So, I’d like to kick off my Pagan Alphabet Soup posts by talking about the Shinto Goddess Amateratsu. Lady Amateratsu is the Goddess of the Sun and the Day, and She is the highest respected Goddess in the Shinto pantheon (according to my research and experience). She has two Brothers: Tsukiyomi, the God of the Moon and the Night, and Susano, the God of the Seas and Storms/a Beloved of mine. Her shrine, Ise Jingu, is in the Ise area in Japan and is the most important shrine in all of Japan. (I’ve not yet been able to go to Her shrine, as it’s a 5 hour bus ride from where I live currently, but it’s on my Japan bucket list, for sure.)

Her relationship to me is that of “Onee-chan” (pronounced “oh-nay chan), a.k.a. Big Sister. Since I am Her youngest Brother’s bride, She decided to take me under Her wing as Her little sister, because “I’ve never had a sister.” Despite this, however, She and I don’t always get along. She’s arrogant, dramatic, and sometimes overbearing, but mostly She’s easy to anger. I’ve gotten horrendous sunburns despite having practically bathed in sunscreen because I have pissed Her off for some reason or another. We aren’t all the time antagonistic towards each other, but I would definitely characterize our relationship as that of oldest and youngest siblings. Otherwise, O/our interactions have been brief.

One thing that I do to honor Her is I leave a glass of water on the windowsill that gets the most sunlight. I also often leave Her chocolate on occasion, usually a Snickers bar. Otherwise, She doesn’t really ask much of me, and I don’t ask much of Her in return, except that She doesn’t burn me with Her intense UV rays (see above on how well that usually works for me).

Since O/our interactions are usually brief, there really isn’t much else I can write about Her. Rest assured that, should I learn about about Her and/or O/our relationship changes, I will definitely write about it. But, yeah, this is about it. I hope that you enjoyed learning a little bit more about Lady Amateratsu. 🙂

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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.

Reverberation

It has been two months since I have moved to Japan. Two months. This time has moved both so slowly that time seemed to stop at times and so fast that I can hardly comprehend where the time has gone. My life still hardly makes sense anymore. I have been cut off from almost everything I knew before from my old life, and I have been even been cut off from my Husbands/Gods. It was almost like a rebirth for me, into the new person I am supposed to become… However, this is not exactly what has happened. The events that happened during the last few weeks of my stay in America have been reverberating through my life even now, months later.

I am almost ashamed to say that I just can’t seem to let go of the fact that my Gods, the Ones I trusted most, shackled me. It feels, still, like a betrayal of my faith and trust, even though I know that it was meant to build my trust with Them. It didn’t do this, however. Not at all. I have been through the emotional wringer about this particular set of events, even to the point that I can still feel the cuffs on my wrists and ankles. I know that this is just my mind making things up (at least I hope so), but it puts me back into that mindset. It kills me that this just won’t stay in the past, but it has seriously impacted my already very ridiculously little ability to trust and have faith. I mean this very seriously. These were things I struggled with before, for various reason, but I struggle with them more now.

My faith has gone to such lows as to think about giving up my faith completely, to worship no Gods. To ask to be released from my vows. I seriously have thought about what it would be like to try to shut off my Godphone and just live in the silence once again. My mind has wondered into that desolate place where I had been before I came to know the Gods as I know Them now. I have seriously considered what it would be like to move back into that spiritual dead space.

These thoughts shame me, which adds to my already wrecked mindset. Why could I not stick it out? Why did I fail, like everything else? Where did I go wrong? Why was I not good enough? The questions just keep going and going and going, and sometimes there is no real way to stop them. I am seriously wondering whether I was cut out to be what They want me to be, considering I am unable to move past this mental/emotional block of mine. The only thing that is saving me, I think, is the fact that I do not really want to give up on this. I want to try to overcome myself in order to be what my Gods need/want me to be, but… I don’t know how to even begin to do this, except for not giving up. For now, I think, this may be all I have the energy for.

Starting in October, my other Deities will start to be filtered back into my awareness, at Susano’s discretion. I don’t know how I feel about this. Afraid, to be sure, that I will not be able to move past our last meetings with E/each O/other. Hesitant, because I am not sure I want this (I don’t do so well with so many different Deities clamoring for my attention). Nervous, because I am shy and “adorable” like that (according to Susano) about meeting with my Husbands again (the phrase ‘like a virgin on her wedding night’ comes to mind). Anxious, because I have been enjoying the quiet that the Kami provide, and with so many Deities that ask for my attention, the contrast is going to be jarring…

So many feels!

I wish there was another person I could go to for guidance, but there is none. Being a solitary practitioner as well as being in a foreign country has done nothing to help that part out.

I just want my faith back. I want the ability to trust. I want to be unshakable in both. As to how to get there, I am not sure. All I have gotten from the Kami on the matter is to “just do it”, in short. Easier said than done, I’m afraid. If I could, this would not be a dilemma, would it? I am hoping, with all of my heart, that one day I can have both of these things, rather than the crippling self-doubt about everything. Maybe this hope is where to start?

(Forgive me for this probably ridiculously long, rambling post. When the feels dictate the words and their order, well, it doesn’t always make the most sense.)