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. 🙂

Halloween and Los Dias de los Muertos

I decided earlier this year that I would honor my Khalisar (the Ghede, if you are so inclined), during the three day interval of Halloween and the Days of the Dead. The first two days I would honor my Khalisar and the last I would honor my beloved Baron, Whom is traditionally honored on this day. I couldn’t do much this year because I had work, but I did what I could to live up to my promise to my people, as their Khaleesi and as a Wife of Gods.

I lit white candles and burned incense; I left an offering of alcohol for them; and on the final day, I made a huge meal and shared it with them. A friend of mine, Canadian, was with me for the last day of my celebrations, so it made it a little difficult to celebrate as I would have wanted because he is a staunch atheist and snarks at most religious observances. I was assured, though, that my offerings of food and the burning of candles pleased my people and my Gods, so I couldn’t be happier.

Because this was an experimental holiday for me, I have some things I would like to change for next year, but I will continue to ponder on what is feasible for me when the time comes.

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.

Devote Your Life

I absolutely love this piece, most especially because I feel the same way. It has taken me quite a while to realize the same things as what the author has written here (and perhaps it will take the same to let it sink in completely). Anyways, this piece is very beautiful. I am so thankful to have read it. It was exactly what I needed today.

The Lure of Beauty

Image

Holy one, 

Let this day unfold in harmony, love, and beauty

Guide me as an instrument of Your grace

Let me be of service

And receive the blessings of merit

Thank you

For the most part, practitioners of all stripes can agree that our lives, come from the Divine. That this body, soul and spirit, the blessings we receive, the beauty in the world around us, comes from a source outside of us. While we may argue about the nature of that source, we generally agree there is one.

I have *always* suffered from believing that what to had to offer wasn’t enough. It stems from childhood, and growing up with an autistic brother. This often made me feel confused and helpless. I remember being unable to understand why, after all we’d done for him, he didn’t get better. Whether it was prayer, medicine, or help with his daily living…

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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.

What You Need Me to Be

I have been going through a sort of personal metamorphosis recently, and my eyes have been opening more and more because of it. Some of it has to do with deepening devotion to my Gods, and some of it has to do with things that are happening in my life, but as things are progressing, I am finding that my ability to empathize is coming back and that I am understanding my Deities better. I think part of it is me coming out of a particularly dark time in my life, a darkness that I have visited several time before that only gets worse with every time I pass through it.

Now that the darkness is passing, I am getting profound moments of clarity about my Gods. The Deities in my life, and this comes as no surprise to me, either have difficult pasts or have jobs that are not the easiest to perform. My sweet Baron, for example, digs the graves of all those who pass to the other side. Can you imagine the heartache He must feel when He has to perform these duties? Can you imagine how much He mourns with those that have just lost their loved ones? I’m sure (though I cannot say for certain because I am not Him) that there are those that are easier than other, that are more of a relief or just a passing moment sadness, but I cannot imagine how much sadness He must feel when He has to bury a child. I don’t think it occurs to many people that this formidable God mourns too. I also understand that I work with a side of Baron that very few get to see, a softer side, but I would hope that even those who do not work with this side of Him would remember that He, too, bears a great burden and all the feelings that come with that burden.

With Loki, I cannot even begin to describe the crippling sadness I have felt when He thinks of His sons, and how much pain He feels when He sees me with the children I work with and playing with my 1 year old nephew. He was a father that lost His children for performing His function within His pantheon, and He grieves still for those two, sweet boys of His. On the flip side of this, I have seen Him at His most terrifying, the Breaker of Worlds, bent on destruction and revenge for this loss. Yet, I have seen how soft His eyes get when He has to perform this duty for me, break my world so that I may become a better me. Fool He may be to some (or all), I feel we should never forget that He has suffered too.

In these last few days, as I have rejoiced in happiness for getting something I have wanted for a very long time, I have also become keenly aware of how much my Gods need me, just as much as I have come to need them. They ask so little of me, Both just asking that I love Them, and sometimes it makes me feel guilty that They do so much for me. However, I do fulfill a vital function for Them as Their wife. I am what They need me to be: a comfort, a lover, a friend, a bastion. If that means I must watch silently as Baron digs graves and hold Him afterwards when it becomes too much, I will. If that means I must deal with and take on part of Loki’s grief and sadness and hold Him, comfort Him when He cannot deal with it on His own, then I will. I can and will be whatever They need me to be, whenever that may be.

Sometimes, in the craziness of trying to learn the runes from Odin or Wyrd-working with the Norns or what ever else I am taking on at the time, I forget that my primary function as of right now is to just be what They need me to be: Their wife. I forget that, as Odin has told me a few times now, I need to take care me of me too so that I may be the best wife and Spiritworker I can be. They need me to be well, not just because They have things They need me to do, but because They love me. With the recent clarity I have had, I have started to make the changes to start doing just that, to serve my Beloveds best and to be able to love Both of Them to the fullest.

The lesson here is that just be what your Deities need you to be. I know from personal experience that sometimes this can be the hardest thing in the world to do, especially when you are getting in your own way. But, I have found more joy and gratification from just being than I have with anything else, when I am doing exactly as They have asked, and my Loves could not be happier now that I am not fighting Them or holding anything back from Them. As things in my life are falling into place, I have to wonder why I hadn’t ever realized this before, and I hope with everything in my heart that I remember this lesson until my days are spent.