TPE – Wk 10 – As Above, So Below

What do you seek from the Divine? How is that reflected in the mundane? Where do you find your place of synthesis?

IDK if it’s just me, but I’m not fond of the wording of this prompt. But I’ll do my best anyway. I’ll also use gods instead of ‘The Divine’, because the latter isn’t relevant to my theology or practice. I don’t really have any unified concept of ‘The Divine’; it makes no sense to me in a polytheistic framework. Others may disagree, but for me, it doesn’t work, so I won’t use it.

And, of course, this changes the nature of the question, because what I seek from my gods really depends on the god. The nature of our relationships are always different, depending on the work we need to do together. Sometimes, it’s not what I seek from Them, but what They seek from me. Sometimes, they just turn up and say hi. Because gods idek.

I think, when you have gods coming to you, instead of seeking Them out, it changes the way you define those relationships. I never really sought anything from Hekate; Sobek fostered me off to Her because there were things only She could teach me. Woden wanted a shrine, so I built Him one. Sobek and Heru want my service. Isis and Nit teach me different things. Artemis, too, was sent to me for a reason.

But perhaps this is just a symptom of a long practicing life, and one in which I’ve encountered lots of gods. Back when I was first starting out, I can’t remember why I was so drawn to Isis, but I did ritual for Her every day anyway. I don’t know if I read ‘The Mysteries of Isis’ before I got to SRW’s infamous ‘Teen Witch’, though I did go through both as I was beginning to explore Paganism. (Look, I was glad my library had that at all, back in 2000/2001; its Pagan selection is still very patchy, all these years later).

But that Mysteries of Isis book got me started. I nicked the prayer I would say to Isis from there, and every morning before school, I’d say the prayer, and a couple others I’d written, and light some incense for Her. I’d do it in the ten minutes or so before I’d have to leave, and it was a very peaceful way to begin the day.

I added Djehuty after a while. I was drawn to Him because I’m a writer, and it felt natural to offer to Him. Bast, too, because I like cats. In spite of growing up in a Christian household, I don’t think I ever really internalised it at all, so by the time I discovered Paganism, I didn’t need to deprogram very much. It actually felt very much like I was discovering religion for the first time, and actually practicing it. So those early devotions weren’t particularly seeking anything other than connection. I was praying to gods, and never doubted that They didn’t exist (IDK why; sometimes I think my brain came hard-wired for polytheism, but idk), and I kept doing it because it seemed to work. It brought me peace and a connection to the gods I’d never felt in any church service.

I think that’s probably still true now. I do ritual, and I offer libations of water, but I’m not necessarily seeking anything other than that connection. I just like knowing They’re around, and listening to me. I’m not one of those who is ‘god-bothered’ or has a god phone. I can really only make that connection when I meditate and go to that landscape of Bakhu I brought forth. That’s when I can speak to Them. The rest of the time, I don’t usually get much except the odd vague feeling, or a Thought in my head. There’s work to do, of course, but it’s not something I’d say I seek from Them. That connection is really it, as far as I can figure out.

That connection is reflected in the mundane in its own way. I’ve come to embrace the idea that polytheism that doesn’t seek to place the gods in the landscape isn’t quite as alive as it could be. So, for me, Sobek is the storms that bring the rain. Heru is the bright summer sunshine, and the soft cooling breeze. Woden and Hekate send Their crows to watch over me; I know which it is by counting the crows. Multiples of two are Woden; multiples of three are Hekate. Artemis is the moon, which I can see outside my window, rising above the roof next door. It’s those little moments of seeing the gods in the world that reignites that connection. It brings everything together. Without that, the rituals just isn’t as meaningful. That’s where I find that place of synthesis, if that’s how you want to phrase it. When it all comes together, and everything is awesome. Yeah.

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