Something New?

I’ve been thinking recently about how I can be more involved in my spirit life, reflect on my practice, and that sort of thing, and I decided that I wanted to try to come up with a list of topics that I can write about each week. I was prompted to do this by my Father, Odin, Who has requested (I’m not sure if it was a request or an order, to be honest) that I write on this blog at least once a week. This sounded reasonable to me and not like something that would overwhelm me, so I agreed. The problem has been, though, that I have been lacking topics to talk about. My practice isn’t very flashy, and I’m a solitary practitioner, so I never feel as if I have much anything to say that would be of value to anyone else, but also would be interesting to read about. In this light, I’ve been prompted to write down every letter of the alphabet and put a topic (or several) next to each letter, and ta da! I will have the topics to write about.

Every week starting this week or next, I will write about a topic beginning with each letter of the alphabet. Some letters will have more than one topic, so I will finish each topic for every letter before moving onto the next. I will do only one letter a week, but if there is more than one topic for a given letter, I will post it the following week. I’m hoping that this will help inspire me to write more, but also to be more reflective of the impact my spirituality has on my life.  (Yes, I am aware that something similar to this already exists, but I want to do this my way, for my own comfort, if that makes any sense.)

So, yeah. I hope you enjoy my upcoming posts.

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Travelling, Trancing, and Mawwage

It’s been a while since I seriously sat down to write a post here. This is for a number of reasons, but I will keep it short and sweet: I have not had the spoons or the attention span to sit and finish anything. I went off my meds in December, which was no picnic, and in the time since, I have been relearning how to person, which is no easy process. I had forgotten what it was like to have all of my emotions unmuted, full-volume, and in the interim while I figured myself out, I had to deal with life as well. I’ve felt as if I haven’t had anything spiritually happening since December, and since this blog is not for my mundane life, I have been absent. For that, I am sorry.

Only a few things have happened that warrant mention here. The first is that I celebrated, albeit quietly, my second year anniversary with my Husband, Baron. I’m as surprised as anyone that I have managed to be married this long to A/anyone, but I am happy and as much in love with Him, if not more in love with him than I have ever been. So, here’s to another happy year of mawwage. *toasts*

Another thing I have been up to spiritually is the learning of boundaries and limits. (This will be a life-long learning thing, I can tell.) As you may know, I formally pledged myself to my people recently as their Queen/Khaleesi (they prefer to call me the latter), and since that day, I have worn a ring to signal to them and myself when I am “on” and “off” duty. I have worn it everyday since I made my pledge for the entirety of my waking hours and some of my sleeping ones, too. Well, as you can imagine, it takes A LOT of spoons to be “on duty” all of the time, and I have recently been advised to take a break. I say advised, when really I should say Told, but I prefer to think that I actually had some choice in the matter. I was reminded very gently that Baron is also our people’s King, and that I should remember that I am a human with a fragile body and even more fragile mind. It was also mentioned that this is a partnership, which means that it’s not as if my people are solely dependent on me. We’ll see how well this lesson takes root in my mind. It’s still a work in progress.

Yet another spiritual thing that has happened to me in my absence is that I was able to trance (sort of). I was on my way to visit a friend for New Years, and after I had finished reading “American Gods” by Neil Gaiman (which was phenomenal, by the way), I sort of tranced out, connecting with Odin. He told me that there is a sort of power being in transit from one place to another, and for wanderers like U/us, there is a way to tap into that energy. I apparently was able to do just that because I was able to *be* with Odin in a way that I have never really experienced before. I was like that for hours, fully awake, but not present in my body. It was an odd feeling. When I arrived at my destination, I had trouble reconnecting with my humanity, with my body. I realize now I should have grounded myself when I arrived, but there hadn’t been time to do it. It was just a weird feeling all together. It was like I shed my humanity, was a higher form of being for a short while. Something that had better insight than my human self had, something that was beyond the simple needs of humanity. I don’t know exactly what happened or who I was then, but it wasn’t human. I’m not sure my description of the feeling even makes sense, but I don’t have any reference. If any of you know more about this or have any resources, please let me know.

Anyways, yeah. This has been my life. I’m going to go to bed now. Night!

Revelations

There have been some revelations for me recently, and I have had to sit with them for a while to get accustomed to them. Some parts are easier to sit with than others, but I’ve needed to brew over them to fully understand the implications. I’ve also debated whether or not I should even talk about them on here for fear that there might be some who don’t agree with what I say. However, since I have adopted the phrase “open and honest communication”, I think it would be best to keep that promise to myself to be as honest as I can be. Otherwise, what’s the point of sharing my story and my Path? So, without further ado, here are the revelations that I have had recently.

Revelation 1: I am Odin’s daughter.
Talk about a brick to the head this one was. I’ve mentioned before that I am the daughter of Sekhmet, but I have always known that, somewhere, I had a spiritual Father as well. I just didn’t know Who. I don’t remember exactly how this admission from Odin came about, but when He told me, I didn’t doubt what He said for a second. It rang so true to me that I think I surprised all of my Gods with how easily I took the information and didn’t question it like I normally do… Well, I had one question: Odin and Sekhmet? I still haven’t figured that one out. I feared telling anyone what I had discovered because I feared people would disbelieve me, UPG police me, mock me, or, worst of all, tell me that I was crazy and making things up. I am proud to be a daughter of Odin, just as I am proud to be a daughter of Sekhmet, and I am beyond happy that I can “keep” Odin in my life, so to speak. 🙂

Revelation 2: I now run with the Wild Hunt.
Before I knew I was Odin’s daughter, I had begun to see signs of other spirits coming into my life. At first it was subtle, but it soon progressed to pure terror. I would see things moving in the shadows; I had an unholy terror of the dark that I had never had before; and I felt, more than ever before, that I was being watched. I lived in terror of the night and the dark for weeks, to the point where I would not go out after dark for any reason. This terror triggered the very intense fight or flight instinct in me, but I also felt that I could never outrun the darkness, and the darkness felt so large and all-consuming that I was stuck in fear. Yet, the dark didn’t attack me or move towards me. Instead, it asked me to join it, to run with it. To ride with it. I decided to ask for Help, and I was Told to go to Odin. It didn’t take long for me to connect the dots that the Wild Hunt was asking me, as the daughter of Odin AND the Khaleesi of the Ghede, to join the Hunt. After pushing aside my utter terror, I realized that the things I was seeing and the spirits that were around me were merely curious about me, as this was the first time I had been acknowledged by Odin. Knowing that the Hunt meant me no harm, I accepted the invitation to join the Wild Hunt, and from now until who knows when, the Ghede and I shall ride alongside the Hunt.

Revelation 3: Who I am bodily is the same as who I am spiritually.
This may seem like a no-brainer to most anyone else, but because I struggle with body image issues and a depression that makes me not like myself on the best of days, I have always operated under the assumption that my soul, my spirit, is very different from who I am bodily (including my personality). So, learning and having to sit with the fact that the only real difference between the two is the effect of my brain chemistry on my body, has been difficult at best. In fact, it makes me feel a lot worse in many respects because I always held out the hope that when I moved to my “life” as a Goddess, that I would somehow be more, better than I am now. Yes, in many ways I will be more and better, being a Goddess will do that, but I will still be me, and it depresses me. I dislike myself that much. I struggle with this, even with the constant reassurances from my Husbands and the other Deities in my life that I am loved just as I am. This will probably be something that I work on for the rest of my life and a daily struggle. So, it may be much longer for this one to sit comfortably with me, if it ever gets that far.

Revelation 4: Baron Kriminel is another face of Baron Samedi.
I had read in some places during my initial research of Baron/the Loa that some believe that all of the Barons were actually just different faces of the same Being. I hadn’t really believed that until recently. In fact, I have pretty much made it my business to avoid Baron Kriminel at all costs because He scares the living crap out of me. His initial impression on me was less than favourable, so to hear Him tell me that He loves me and that my Marriage vows to Baron Samedi apply to him and all of the other Barons as well… I actually wasn’t surprised so much as confused. I mean, considering my previous encounters with Kriminel, I never thought he was capable of liking someone, let alone loving someone. He tells me, though, that He never wished to hide what He is from me and that I needed to know what He and all of the other Deities are capable of: the good and the bad. I have been incredibly lucky that my experiences with spirits and Deities have mostly been good. With Kriminel, though, not so much, and I accept that. His face serves a purpose (to deliver justice to those who have wronged others). Even though He has been abrasive at best with me, thus far, I also accept that His role in my life serves a purpose, too. I am not ready to discuss this purpose yet, but I accept Him as He is, and He accepts me as I am as well. I can’t say this will be a smooth sailing kind of relationship, but I hope, in the end, all works out well.

These are the four revelations I have had in recent weeks, and as I am coming into myself more and more, taking on more responsibility as a daughter of Gods and as a Khaleesi to a great band of spirits, I feel myself growing in personal power. I can feel it unfurling within me. It’s a heady feeling, and I am fairly sure that this is just the beginning of something huge that is going to happen in my life, but we’ll see.

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.

Odinic Parallels Part 2

I did not know that I would be writing  a part 2 to this, but as He wishes, I thought I would write a little more about how I can see some parallels between Odin and myself.

I am going preface this with a heavy emphasis on the fact that I am still new to my study, and I am still learning about the Deities that I work with and worship. I am not someone who indulges in the academic side of my spirituality, so what I know is based on UPG and what I have read from other bloggers who I have learned to trust as a source of correct information. So, take what you like from what you read here.

So, as it may be obvious now, but I live in Japan now and have lived here for the last 6 months. It has been a wild ride since I got here. The emotional coaster alone has been ridiculous. I took some (involuntary) time away from the the majority of my Gods to reorient myself in the real world, as it were, but I am not getting back on track with Them, slowly but surely. Anyways, I have come to notice a number of things that stand out about my life here. Things that I noticed before but were never so blatantly obvious: the parallels I have with Odin Himself. Most specifically that of the Wanderer and the Outcast (as I wrote before).

I see myself a little bit more like the Wanderer every day. I live in an apartment that has been a temporary home for many people before me and will be a temporary home for many people after me. There is a feeling of transience in this place, and my thoughts always come back to how settled I should get, because I will be leaving in the end. This job is also temporary, so my place here is not fixed either. My time in Japan will (might) come to an end next year or who knows when after that. I have no home to call my own. There is a place I settle my head at night, but it is accompanied by the constant fact that I will leave this place not too long from now. It gives me a restless feeling, especially not knowing where I will be going after this.

The Outcast is one of Odin’s personas that I feel very keenly. I feel this every day. The Japanese are a very… Exclusive people. Sometimes to the point of abject racism to anyone that is not of Japanese origin (this racism even includes those that are only half Japanese). So, it is easy to imagine, I would think, how I feel so acutely outside everyone else. It is easy for me to feel outside even if the behavior of the people around me didn’t reflect my status as a foreigner. I am a tall, blue-eyed, light brown-haired, bigger girl. I look around only to see shorter, black-haired, and brown-eyed people everywhere.

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.