Tag Archives: Devotion

Devotional Work

We have been talking about prayer beads.

A long time back, Freyr specified the number of beads he wanted me to use, and I found stones that would be ideal, and have generally only been waiting for a time when I could afford to purchase the materials and assemble it.

I have been interested in making prayer beads for other people for a long time, but have similarly been restricted by finances. It’s also occurred to me that many people who buy prayer beads have absolutely no idea what to do with them or how to use them, so it might be good to write prayers, adorations, or other devotions to gods and spirits I may make sets for in the future, so that I will have them on hand.

In addition to needing to work out the prayers for my own set.

I would like to write a much longer post about prayer, but recovery from the car accident is slow, and I am feeling very stressed and very thin.

Today while I was resting, I worked with the spirits of the trees living on this section of land and the spirits of the land itself — many of which were not clearly defined entities who were completely separated into something easily understandable. I felt myself sinking deep into the ground and felt the earth around me, and I knew that I had been guilty of being prideful and hubristic without realizing it, without having realized I’d created some sort of chain of being and placed myself on it above other things — that I was, in truth, the same as the microbes in the soil and served a similar purpose.

Healing the land and healing myself are likely connected. As are all of these meditative thoughts about devotion and prayer and walking through a land to bless it.

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Forest by Oliver Harold

Pagan Blog Project: Carolitic

I was asked to start doing the PBP, because I have interesting things to say, they said. As we’re into Cs, I suppose I will try to get back through the other posts, if possible, because it’s not all that late, and I did write a post spurred by my attempt at writing about my adoption by Loki and his family (which was then titled Aridity).

Carolitic is an architectural term meaning ‘adorned with leaves and branches.’

I don’t always recognize the gods in art that are meant to be him. Sometimes they are completely and utterly foreign. Sometimes semi-passable. I’ve never found anything that was exactly right. What I do have is a picture of a person I found on tumblr, that V edited for me, which I can’t post, because I don’t recall the original photographer, or the model, and it’s altered without permission, regardless. Even the picture is not perfect, but it will do. It is, of course, of a completely human man, looking completely human.

Freyr does not always, though the human-like shape is very convenient and he seems somewhat to favor it, but I couldn’t say that with authority. Likely he changes his shape depending on what sort of beings he is interacting with.

He is meant to be a god of fields, fruit, bountiful harvests, grain, and so on. Honey, also, via some UPG I seem to share with several people. I have seen him that way. Golden, brighter than the sun, running his hands along the tops of the grain, or riding his horse through the shining fields, laughing in the summer…

But I also see him, increasingly, in the forest. I repressed the idea because I felt like I was treading on the territory of people who associate with one or another horned god figure, and I do not believe all gods bleed into one.

It stayed, however. And I kept reblogging deer, saving pictures of deer, thinking about his antler, and the piece I wear around my neck, reblogging forest after forest. I felt him too much in some of these pictures and I could not shake it. It was not going to go away.

The Vanir are old. Very old. What was there before there were tilled fields? There were forests.

And so I see him at times in a somewhat humanoid shape, with branching antlers, in the deepest parts of the forest. He reeks of power. It rolls off of him like the mist formed by his breath. And I wonder what I am seeing, if this is what came before, if this is what there was before humans began shaping myth with their belief and taking axes to trees to create fields to grow their crops.

It is always a silent, still, long moment, of looking, and waiting. I think he wants to know if I will come to him like that, with ivy twining and moss and lichens making themselves known. Leaves caught in those antlers. His breath is heavy, as if he had just been running and stopped suddenly. I do not think he runs on two legs, though he stands on them well enough.

I have not gone yet, because I have been afraid of what it means. Of saying, yes, I love this god whom you’re very familiar with, and in some of his aspects, he is absolutely nothing like what you’ve read or been taught, and no, I am not confused, not confusing one god for another — I know my husband, if nothing else — and not being a very mushy polytheist. To say, yes, this is Freyr, and he is a very old god of the forests, long before there were people.

It does not change who he is most often now, of the fields of golden grain, but this part of him has not gone away.

It is my wont, whether intended or otherwise, to lean toward mysticism.

Tonight I will embrace him.

Rearranging the altars

It’s a fairly common thing to color the water used in Buddhist offerings with saffron. Saffron is, of course, very expensive, and I haven’t been able to afford it, but V. bought me some while we were in the spice aisle at the store. I will make the saffron water when I can and start using it in daily offerings.

We had previously been to the dollar store, where we found an assortment of things that we thought would be good for the altars. Small wooden boxes, moss, stones, glass bowls and vases. I’ve wanted to make something for Freyr for a long time, because I don’t have much for him: really only a dark brown clay pig, aside from my jewellery.

Hela told Brand to rearrange the order that things are in, in terms of the shelves, which is reasonable and convenient. I need more room to use the offering bowls more effectively.

I will make something for Freyr and incorporate the pieces of the trees in the yard that offered themselves into the area. He is so intertwined with nature/land spirits for me that it seems like the right thing to do.

We bought a Christmas cactus, as well. Being past its flowering season, it was heavily marked down and in good condition. They blossom so beautifully.

Things during the internet blackout.

For reasons known only to Time Warner, we had to wait two weeks for someone to come attach a coaxial cable to our modem and then to the wall. That was finally done.

In the interim, we read, V. did a large amount of knitting, I did quite a lot of praying.

I intend to keep that up, ideally forming a strong devotional and meditative habit that will form the backbone of my work for the rest of my life.

I’ve had a lot of unrelenting horrors related to my ptsd happening lately. I’ve never had nightmares like this before — not so many, and not so many days in a row. I’ve been dreaming about being raped since we came up here to look for apartments, in the middle of October. I’ve been having those dreams for a month, many more times a week than not. And lately it’s been every single night, and sometimes more than once. I had to crawl (literally) out of bed and to the door to the living room yesterday, deep enough in the flashbacks that I couldn’t walk or communicate much, but it seems like I looked so bad that V. was up and coming to hold me before I think I’d managed to say anything about what was wrong.

I hope to upload some of the things I wrote (though there is not as much of it as I would have liked, likely due to all of that) tomorrow, and then possibly start picking at the 30 days devotional meme going around. I won’t put any pressure on myself to do the posts every day. I’m not in any psychological state to take on a responsibility. But I would like to do the writing, because I think it would be good for me and good for our relationship. It will also be helpful if I take any of this nudging about working on a book seriously, because they’re nearly all appropriate topics to include and expand upon.

I would like to curl up on R for a few days. He’s had a lot going on lately and we’ve only seen each other a little, though I don’t begrudge him it: he’s primarily busy in a good and happy way. I do miss him, though, particularly due to his having been one of the few things in my life I could depend on, and all of the ptsd being so much like drowning.

I’ve had the “Do I need to go to the hospital?” conversation, but I don’t know what they could do for me. I’m not a danger to myself. My memory is a danger to me.

Wheel turning

The Equinox is at 4:44pm local time. I could go to the ADF event at Central Park. It’s raining right now, but should clear up by afternoon.

My knee is bothering me, and the recent tendency toward frequent/constant stress-induced nightmares haven’t left me with much energy, but it would be good to be around people. If not, I hope I can go to the store to get the things to make bread. It does involve much less walking.

When Brand is feeling very bad or vulnerable, he likes to wrap the cord he had made around his neck loosely. I took the idea and looped ours, which still smells of the herbs it was washed in.

I do not know if I have “let” things get to me, or if this is a situation in which it is nearly impossible to avoid “letting” things get to me — that the issue of insecure housing, threats of physical violence, insufficient money to move right away, and everything else has thrown me into a form of survival mode where I seem capable of thinking about nothing else. It’s done it to everyone — I’m not the only one with nightmares — but I don’t want to solely be existing in this mode. I don’t want to be so full of stress that I sacrifice everything precious.

One of my mentors suggested using Green Tara’s mantra in times of difficulty, and I think it did help a great deal in getting to (I also got lost) and through a hearing about whether or not my benefits were being cut off (they aren’t). It’s also short and to the point. The difficulties one asks to be saved from sound like normal difficulties, like protection while traveling, but more relate to the general difficulties of samsaric existence and ignorance. And, goodness, couldn’t I use a lot of help with that.

Some of the leaves are falling here, or browning. Our unpredictable weather has interspersed periods of autumn with blazing summer. I wouldn’t rule out another period of 90 degree days, but it’s back to being cooler outside.

In a fragment of a dream I had, it was already time for frost, and frost was silvering the green leaves of the plants every morning. I don’t think I was in my ordinary dream locales; I think either Freyr or another person was with me. I was reminded in some vague way of the place where I grew up, though I couldn’t say why, now.

Brand is about to embark on a period of belonging to his sister. I need to settle myself, engage in daily meditation, and descend into the right portions of consciousness to learn more about this apprenticeship to Eir that’s being arranged around me and something similar with Frigga. Both things will need my attention.

In this moment of being split between seasons, it seems good to revive and set intentions.

Mine are:

– practice daily meditation

– practice mantra recitation

– spend time with my beloved

– pray

– pursue the invitations from Eir and Frigga

– follow commonsense approaches to improving these things — care for my plants and study herblore, clean my spaces, my altar, etc, and maintain them, cook and enjoy good food

A Month for Freyr: Byggvir and Beyla

I associate Beyla with honey, more than her other etymological possibilities. Also the color of the firelight on the wood inside the house, which is a warm yellow-brown. She is very fond of cooking and taking care of people with food. I don’t need to eat elsewhere, but it troubles her if I don’t eat twice during any full length of day time when I’m there and I know she worries and fusses about it because she cares.

They both have a mild parental view toward me — since Byggvir said he’d been with Freyr for most of Freyr’s life, it makes sense that they would be vaguely parental toward both him and his lovers who stay in his home.

Byggvir was accused of being a coward in Lokasenna, but he’s behaved protectively toward me. I associate him (for some reason) with early spring/late autumn greens, like kale, which are resistant to cold weather and a rich, dark green, and I also associate him with iron. Particularly the smell of it.

I was having a fair amount of trouble with someone when I went there once, and he took me aside and told me that if I needed someone to deal with it for me, he would take care of it.

They are an important part of my life, though I do not see them as often as I think I should. I would like to set aside some time to get to know them better.

I am weary of the lack of space I have to do anything, here. And I am wondering if a virtual space would be better, until after we’ve found new housing. It feels strange, the idea of creating  a non-physical space for them and the other people I am getting to know, but the time I spend with them is non-physical, as well.

When I was idly looking at sea shells after coming across a website about sea hearts, I got a prodding that someone would like shells. I kept thinking it was Freya, but Frigga’s name kept popping into my head. It turns out that most shells are not that expensive, so whomever would like some nicer shells, I can hopefully make it happen eventually.

I did buy plants, despite the lack of space issues, while I was at the greenmarket on Tuesday. Three varieties of sansevieria, a type of moss, a striped aloe, an unknown plant in muted autumn colors, and another unknown plant that has white veins. They were all shockingly inexpensive.

I thought that, with the space problems, and the difficulty in burning candles in the summer because of the fans, the plants could be a living altar. Freyr, and all of the plant spirits. I feel better, even crowded in here with an entire wall full of someone else’s disorganized books and more shelves above the bed with the same.

I had a collection of sansevieria about four years ago, but while I was away, only one of them survived never being watered by the person I’d asked to look after them. I also lost the collection of spider plants that I had except for one, as well. But spider plants are not usually as expensive as sansevieria and that really was a lot of money. However, at the greenmarket, I replaced two of the species I’d lost and got one I’d wanted but never had, for something like $14. Two 4″ pots and one 6″ pot. It blows my mind. Maybe it is also a wedding present!