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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A Wild God

Poetry for thought….

Drinking From the Cup of Life

Over on tumblr, amaskofivy shared this, and I thought I’d share it (with permission) with all of you.

A Wild God
A wild god grants no wishes, but miracles spill from his lips; thick and crude and unpolished words that snap and bite at your ankles. And so do your footfalls cause the earth to tremble, for his gifts are not for receiving. A wild god’s blessings receive you.

He eats the flesh raw. A wild god carves no arrows, strings no bows, crafts no swords or axes. He scoops you from the river and sinks his teeth into you as you squirm, tender flesh giving way to the mouth that bloodies itself with doubt and hesitation and tremors of the mind. He deals in terror, takes fear in exchange for a glass of wine.

A wild god dwells in temples, sleeps on marble floors and wakes in the…

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Love notes from Freya, 4/19/15

A marriage is what you make of it. It can be a marriage of convenience; a marriage of romantic love; a marriage for children; a marriage for career advancement. A marriage for society; a marriage for you, personally. There are many reasons to get married. Choose which one you like best, and follow your heart. It matters not which one you choose; only that you choose.

Relationship advice, from Freya. My sense is that her version of “Marriage” and our modern American one is different. I got the sense for channeling her note today that she was talking about something not entirely unlike a business venture–two people entering into an intimate, long-term partnership which is mutually beneficial;”romance” not being the central concept, in many cases.

Though Freya is a goddess of love, and I will never present her as not having that essential quality, it’s good to note that what “love” meant back in the time that she was most actively worshiped is not the red-hearted Valentine’s-Day love of today. (Perhaps that kind of cheesy romantic love didn’t exist in any ancient cultures; perhaps it’s a modern invention.) I don’t think that lessens the power or meaningfulness or usefulness of “love”. I think it just makes the “love” that does exist more likely to pass the test of time.

(And yes, I know this one is aimed at me, too, Lady. :P)