Ancestor work: Sweden

I was talking with my sister the other day about our trip to Sweden (t-minus 6 days and counting!), and had a revelation. Though my sister is not Christian, and in fact could definitely find herself on one end of the Neo-Pagan spectrum, our personal beliefs are very different. (Let me reiterate: I love my sister, but we are very different. Oddly, we look enough alike that people have in the past mistaken us for twins, and our friends are thrown off a bit more when they meet us together and realize exactly how different we are.) In any event, though we have the same genetic material and she’s open to a lot of pretty far-out spiritual concepts, she is not at all Heathen or polytheist, though she has been pretty accepting of any spiritual processing work I’ve done with her.

So it was really weird that she was the one to come up with the idea of us visiting our ancestral homelands in Sweden and Norway together. Talking with her last week, she said something else that threw me for a loop. “You know, things have fallen into place too smoothly for this trip to be about us. We need to do some ancestor work while we’re there.”

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Faith as an Action (or, How I Became a Devotional Polytheist)

I can name ten people off of the top of my head who were chosen by their individual deities rather than vice versa. Someone should (or already has?) come out with a book based on these, er, “forced” conversions. I don’t consider myself one of them. (At least, not originally.) My relationship with Freya has been a long one which has involved much wooing on both of our parts. It was only after my relationship with Her was cemented that the other ones started staking their claims. I blame Zeus’s appearance on the fact that I was, at that point, the ear for five Hellenic pagans who were lamenting about the lack of Hellenic groups in the Bay Area, and I am a Helper. Freyr’s involvement, I blame on Freya, because you don’t get one without the other…

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Sacrifice: the act of making sacred

To save for later. Also, it warms my heart when I come across polytheists I don’t know, working with pantheons/deities I don’t work with (much), spending this much time and effort getting it right. Makes me feel like we’re all in it together, ya know?

Golden Trail

The modern notion of sacrifice implies letting go of something precious, but the ancient meaning of the word has a more legal tone. To sacrifice was simply to make (facio) sacred (sacer), i.e. to make something property of the Gods. It is the religious equivalent of a transaction of goods – any goods, even those that are not particularly precious. And just as in everyday life there are formal and informal transactions, the same applies to our dealings with the Gods: just as you can offer a friend a drink or something in return for a symbolic price, you can pour beverage or wheat on the floor as an informal offering; just as in your everyday life you may sell or buy something in the presence of a lawyer, using official paperwork or a written contract that’s legally binding, you can make more formal offerings by…

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