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. 🙂

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.)