Devotional Practice, Hestia, Polytheism, Shrine

Youtube Pagan Challenge Videos

So the Youtube Pagan Challenge is a meme of sorts where a question is asked each week out of the year and people respond via a video on Youtube.  (Is there a blog one like this?)

Here are two of them I absolutely loved. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Here is Soli from Love Defies Reality:

From Anni from the Mirth and Reverence Channel:

Aset, Auset, Isis, Goddesses, Gods, Hera, Initiation, Polytheism

Personal Epiphany

I am learning throughout this time in my life where I am changing and shedding skin while making way for the new: There is so much more mercy, understanding and forgiveness than I could have possibly hoped for. I have more strength than I ever imagined.

I am loved by more people and spirits and Gods than I ever thought possible–and I am worthy of that love.

I am changing and growing. I am becoming someone new. I am becoming who I am. I am becoming myself.

I am not finished, yet the road is paved for me to walk. I travel on this road to embrace the star that is my soul.

May it become. Kheperu.

Hail the Gods and Goddesses of Egypt! Hail the Gods and Goddesses of Greece!

Oracles, Poems, Poetry,, Polytheism, Shrine

We Love You

During a divination session, a group of Netjeru decided to give me this. So I share it in hopes that it will remind us how much They love us.

We are here.
We love you.
We love you.
Why do you doubt this, dear child?
Why do you doubt this?
We are your Parents.
You are Our children.
We love you.
Nothing you can do or will do can take away that love.
Nothing.
We love you.
No matter what.
We want to help you.
We want to see you succeed in all your dreams.
in all your hopes and ambitions.
We want you to succeed.
We love you.
All you need to do is ask.
And We will do Our best to help you.
We love you.
We love you.
And nothing, nothing can take that away.
You are always good enough.
You are always pure enough.
We love you.
We love you.
And nothing, nothing can take that away.

Aset, Auset, Isis, Bast, Bastet, Bast-Mut, Devotional Practice, Festivals, Freyja, Frigga, Goddesses, Gods, Nebet Het, Nephthys, Nut, Nuit, Polytheism, Sekhmet, Sekhmet-Mut

Hail the Summer Sun!

A Blessed Summer Solstice to everyone! I’m honoring Aset as the Solar Eye for this festival along with Sekhmet-Mut for the Egyptian pantheon. Some friends are coming over to celebrate. We’ll offer our feast (also known as dinner) to Them and other offerings such as wines, tea, pastries, cookies and candles lit upon all the shrines so they blaze as fiercely bright as the summer sky.

Since this is also Midsummer Festival for the Northern Gods of Scandinavia and other Germanic Lands, I’ll also be honoring Frigga and other Northern Gods in my home. I’ll offer wines and tea and the others can bring their offerings for Them as well.

Hail the Gods and Goddesses of Egypt!

Hail the Gods and Goddesses of the Northern Lands.

May offerings be laid upon the shrines.
May prayers be spoken and heard.
May songs be sung in praise.
May blessings flow.
May the light shine brightly, fiercely glowing in our eyes and hearts.

I’m reminded that the only time our eyes glow is when we are smiling.

Articles, Athena, Devotional Practice, Polytheism, Shrine

My Meeting with Zeus

When I woke up today, I saw a white haired bearded man seated on my table as I walked into the room. I’ve never had this happen before. He sat on my table and I could see him placing cards on the table as if He were dealing out cards.

“Who are you?”

“Zeus.”

I have an Oracle deck for the Hellenic Pantheon so I pulled that out and started pulling cards. I got up at one point to shower and give offerings to the Hellenic deities in my Household. When I was done, I got the inclination that He still wanted me to pull cards.

I got some cards over and over again. Messages I wasn’t getting were beginning to weave together, reading after reading. During the last reading session, He called me a “mantis” (this apparently means diviner in Greek).

A few of the messages I got were:

*fill your life with joy
*fill your life with beauty
*do what you love
*know who you are and act on it; master yourself
*love yourself
*Know why you honor the Gods you do (Thinking they are cool isn’t enough of a good reason.)
*transformation of old habits into new ones
*creation of joy
*creativity and inspiration; new projects and new beginnings

One of the things He wanted to know was the reason why I was doing things. He wanted to know why I was honoring Athena. I told Him that I admired Her and I honored Her because She helped me with my home once. The first time I ever met Her, the Goddess Athena had me write a four (or 7; I can’t remember the exact number) page poem to Her. But I also remembered I was told (by Aset) that honoring the Hellenic deities would teach me how to treat my home like a temple. That I would learn to treat my home as a sacred and holy place. This is something sorely lacking within Kemetic religion.

Household worship is the staple to Hellenic religious practice and that foundation is largely missing within Kemetic religion. So I honored Hestia today and Hera and Zeus along with Athena. I libated to these Gods of Olympos. I always give Them libations as I don’t have a safe way to burn or a practical way to bury the food offerings.

And as I’m writing this I’m remembering something Athena told me to do that I haven’t been doing. So this is a good reminder. Ask Her for help with my home.

And that question of Why do you honor the Gods that you do? is harder to answer than I thought.

There are many reasons to honor certain deities over others:

*affinity with the occupation you have
*They created you and you are Their spiritual child
*They have work for you to do for Them
*They rule over the Household and you (hopefully) live in a house/apartment/condo, etc.
*They showed up since you honor their brother, mother, father, sister, wife, husband etc.
*Some other reason

So why do I honor some of the Olympic deities? Why do I honor Athena?

The obvious answer is that She’s a Goddess and what fool doesn’t give the deities their due?

Just because They deserve honor doesn’t mean we can honor every single god or goddess. Some deities will get along with certain devotees better than others. I tend to honor deities of knowledge, order, magic, death and healing. Someone else may have different threads of influences from their deities.

My other answer to this would be that I’m an independent scholar with a Masters degree, that I bead necklaces and may start to paint. Being an artisan and a scholar are under the domain of Athena.

But that doesn’t really answer the question. Why am I honoring Her?

Athena showed up unexpectedly in my life. I honestly did not see Her coming. But She came and I just started to respond. I honored Her when I could; I try to honor Her on Her monthly festivals on the 3rd, 13th and 23rd day of each month. Sometimes I forgot or I was too lazy or I was sick or on my period or some other reason I didn’t honor Her on that day.

But when I could I’d try to show up and give an offering. And sometimes I made mistakes and did things I know not to do now. And sometimes why you show up isn’t as important as that you took the effort to show up. And sometimes why are you here isn’t a reprimand, but a question. Do you know what you are doing? Do you know what you are building or making? Do you know what it means to become acquainted with a God?

Do you know what you are doing when you honor this God instead of that one? Or you honor this God from this pantheon and this other God from this other pantheon? Do you know the relationships you are building?

Do you understand that when you honor a God and invite Them into your home, then They are a permanent houseguest? And if you need to take down their shrines or altars, you need to ask Their permission? That is not your space anymore. It is Theirs.

Do you know, dear child, do you know that when you honor a God, you are building a relationship between two beings and both have agency? And both have power.

And both of them have the power of choice.

Do you build a shrine and a relationship with a foundation of kharis (holy blessings; reciprocity gift-giving) or do you build it on superficial manners and willful ignorance?

How you build the shrine to Them is what the foundation of your relationship is made of.

Blessings flow where offerings go.

Build it well.

Articles, Polytheism

Polytheist Practice

This blog post (linked here: There IS No “Pagan Umbrella”: Reframing the (Current) Pagan/Polytheist Debate) inspired my post below.

I think the polytheist community needs to be its own thing. We are not Pagans, using Outer Court Wicca practices and Hermetic Practices to conduct rituals. Not everyone calls quarters, casts circles, calls upon a God and Goddess, does a magical working and concludes the rite with cakes and ale.

In fact, most polytheists, I would argue, don’t do this. Most Polytheists that I’m familiar with (Kemetic, Hellenic Heathen/Germanic and possibly Canaanite) do things very differently.

1) Most of us honor ancestors and have ancestor altars in our homes to honor our departed loved ones.

2) We have shrines to Gods and Goddesses in our homes and They are treated as individual beings with their own personalities, attributes and affinities. They are given offerings, ritual and are worshiped at their shrines during certain times (daily, weekly, monthly and/or during festivals). Also, some people follow deities from one pantheon while others follow deities from more than one pantheon. And some follow more than one religious path. It varies.

3) Some of us honor House or Land spirits. Some honor other spirits.

4) Many of us honor the deities in rituals consisting of incense (or essential oils, flowers, scent of some kind, etc.), candles, offerings and libations as well as ancient or modern hymns. Gestures of adoration and praise can also be incorporated in this.

5) Many of us derive our religious practices from ancient sources such as those found in archaeology, anthropology and literature as well as temples where applicable. We also derive our practices from getting input from the deities Themselves. (Since we are dealing with incorporeal, sentient, distinct entities, we would ask for Their input on how They would like to be honored). So experiences with the deities would also help inform our practices.

6) We also adapt our religious practices to our time and place. We don’t live in the ancient world and we are not the ancients. So we offer fig newtons to Kemetic deities and chocolate to Hetharu and strawberries to Aset and cheese to Wepwawet and red wine to Sekhmet. We offer what we are able to given the deities historic (or modern) associations, our own budgets, our own abilities and our own religious taboos (if we have any; someone who has a taboo against eating pork may not offer it, etc.)

Books, Links, Polytheism

Link: New Book Out and Interview

Dr. Wendi Wilkerson has published a book about polytheism. From the synopsis:
Walking With The Gods is the result of Dr. Wilkerson’s 3-year long ethnographic survey of 120 contemporary Western polytheists that offers a startling, intimate and detailed view of this emerging religious practice and raises important theological questions about our culture’s assumptions regarding Deity, faith, religion, nature, and humanity’s relationship with each.

Paperback: Walking with the Gods

Smashwords: Walking with the Gods

Interview with the author: Walking With The Gods – An Interview