Palms of Our Hands

A Polytheist's Blog


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Words from Ares: Courage, Caitlyn Jenner, and What It Means To Be A Warrior In Times of Peace

Thenea of her blog Magick From Scratch put the question of Caitlyn Jenner’s courage compared with a soldier’s courage to Ares, Greek God of war. She received this response, which hopefully put a lot of things into perspective for any who reads it. Thank you Thenea, and to Lord Ares!

Magick From Scratch

Ares is a taciturn sort of fellow, but I showed him a meme going around with a picture of Caitlyn Jenner next to a soldier, and he had a mouthful to say about it. Often, when he does speak more than just a few words, his opinions are quite surprising.

For reference: projectile weapons, in ancient Greece, were considered a “coward’s weapon.” Correspondingly, Ares doesn’t think much of modern war, or guns.

Ares is not what you might call eloquent. In order to understand how I experienced this, you need to imagine a gigantic, ripped biker dude wearing bronze armor growling or yelling part or all of this.

Take this message for what it is: if you are fighting for acceptance, Ares thinks you are bad ass.

All courage should be rewarded.

It should be, and it isn’t.

When a soldier faces streams of cowardly bullets shot from behind the safety…

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30 Days of Devotion

I’ve fallen out of devotional practice since last month. Part of it was due to being shocked by some messages. Other exciting things were getting back into the swing of work I am familiar with, and also catching the flu. I’ve been struggling to regain some semblance of relationship with the Iluma (the deities of the Canaanites), which has lapsed entirely because of me. So this 30 Days of Devotion work seems like the perfect place to start again.


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Pagan Blog Project – P is for Pagan to Polytheist

I took the rest of July and most of August as a hiatus, partly spiritual and partly mundane. During that time, I held back from making formal offerings, or doing ritual.  I was so paranoid about Doing the Wrong Thing that I ended up doing very little.  Did some writing in my spiritual journal, reconnected with my tarot decks and brushed up on reading for myself and for a friend.

During this time I started reviewing my experiences over the past year, and it surprised the heck out of me:

-I’d planned to study Wicca and witchcraft, starting with the elements

-the number of Deities Whose doors I’d been knocking on were more than I’d thought

-tarot still takes practice, but writing about the Daily Draw helps me deepen my understanding

-beginning of my studies into Canaanite mythology and modern polytheism within this pantheon

-mild freak out on trying to Reconstruct everything

-many more vivid dreams (the Deities trying to speak to me?), working on clarity

-and…finally I’m not a very nature-based pagan. (>.>)

I’m not a Pagan that has “an earth-based, nature-based spirituality”.  I’m Pagan in that I seek out guidance from deities. I seek right action a lot, and I’m very conscientious of my words because things I say/write tend to occur.

I did receive help and encouragement from the Divine Assembly.  Hints that I didn’t need to be completely perfect.  And, when I finally mustered up the courage to approach Them again, the sense I got (from ‘Anatu) was my efforts were baby talk to Them.  For a whole year and that was as far as I’d gotten? To be honest, it was refreshing.  My reaching out must be very simple, but I got the sense of being watched over.


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Pagan Blog Project – N is for…Not Good Enough Syndrome

(“Frustration”, artwork by Richard Young)

Artwork by Richard Young, http://www.ryoung-art.com/Default.htm

Artwork by Richard Young, http://www.ryoung-art.com/Default.htm

Perhaps this is a condition particular to me, but in anything (and everything), I will reach a point where it seems I have an idea of knowing what I’m doing.  Then almost out of nowhere, I freeze faster than an ice cube in Antarctica.

I will find myself pulling back, thinking “Hmm, there’s something I missed. I better double-check before I go forward with this project/prayer. I don’t have the information? Or the supplies? Best to go look it up on the internet/buy it/search the library…”

Picture that there are two sides. One side–where I am–represents the current me; what I know, my daily schedule, my mundane self, the Self that sees where she wants to go, and is working toward her goals.  On the other side is where those goals are–finishing a novel, connecting with the Deities who are talking with me, getting that job, having a relationship, etc., etc.

Of course, there is this gap in the middle.  As one memorable quote I keep on my Kill Procrastination page goes, “If you want something you’ve never had, you must be willing to do something you’ve never done.”

That ‘something I’ve never done’ is represented by that gap.  It’s that gap where theory and understanding is put to practice–writing that paragraph, doing that dance move, filling out the job application, cooking that recipe.  That gap is where my feet leave the ground.  I want to get to that other side! But…

Is that gap a foot deep? A thousand feet deep? Whatever it is, I don’t want to fall into it.
Without a WORD, because my subconscious/unconscious is sneaky like that, I find myself backing away. I retreat into a “need more X” of everything. I can say I’m gathering up the courage to build a bridge, but wood and nails piling up in a neat corner is NOT a built bridge.  Then my frustration builds because I know there is something I want, and I know, intellectually, the steps in the everyday world that I need to take. (Fill out the application, make dinner, call a friend, write a page, etc., etc.).

I find myself doing that in my practice to honoring the Deities.  Currently on a revivalist/reconstructionist path, I’m paralyzed with the fear that I’m Not Doing It Right.   “The Head Priest/Priestess of X Gods has to do so much in his/her day just to greet the Deities! How am I even supposed to compare to that?  What I know/do is so little, it’s practically worthless.” I’m so paralyzed that instead of going ahead and letting the experience or the Gods teach me what I should do, I simply don’t go. Better to talk about Them than to Them, because the Gods will forbid me from ever speaking to Them again if I…blunder in my myriad ways, thanks to being a squishy, fallible human being.

This is what’s ridiculous.  I reach a point where I will have to start taking ownership (responsibility) for my decisions and actions before Gods and men, and I choke.

So this is my message to my SELF, and anyone who needs the clue-by-four when your life feels stuck in neutral and you haven’t shifted the gears to get yourself going again:

You cannot wait for the Perfect Moment.  You will make mistakes and THAT IS OK.  For as long as you’re alive, you are GOOD ENOUGH.


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Christian-ish and pagan-ish.

I’m what some people would call a Christopagan.  I’m Christian in that I was raised in the Roman Catholic faith, from birth.  My parents come from the heavily Roman Catholicized Philippines, so it was no question that I would be raised as a Roman Catholic.  My K-8 and high school education was in private Catholic schools, paid with saved tuition and volunteer hours at the church. In fact, I live nearby my same church now, and drop by when I want to say hello to the Blessed Mother.

But I’m not strictly Catholic anymore.  I look at the natural and elemental world, and I see that there are more powers in the world than what Christianity speaks of.  And contrary to the somewhat benign condescension of the Vatican toward other religions, I believe that other religions in fact have as much faith and power in them as Christianity does.  (When we discussed it in school…and that’s IF we discussed it at all, other religions were simply “not as full of grace” as Roman Catholicism.) If anything, seeing  the world as immanent, full of power, has given me more reason to be a more conscious person/Christian/Christopagan/Pagan, than when creation was passive, and full of sin, in the Christian point of view.

Yet where does a lapsed Catholic go when she is exploring the other faiths? I’m darned lucky that I have been coming of age in the Internet era.  There’s more information available now than even 10 years ago, and I only found as much as I did because I was in college.

I look at my Roman Catholicism as my “spiritual native language”.  I grew up calling God as  Father, and Jesus as the Son of God. With the Holy Spirit being…somewhere in there.  And Mary is the Divine Feminine of Christianity.  The Archangels have also been a constant presence, especially when I had my dark days back in 2008.

So, where am I learning my ‘new language’ now?  Youtube, of course.  I’ve browsed forums on paganism, Wicca, and other witchcraft-friendly forums.  There’s something immediate and real when hearing someone talking about their spiritual practices, the ups and downs, and the lessons they learned from it.

What is so pagan about my spirituality, if my first spiritual learning was in Catholicism?  Giving thanks to the guardians of my home, for instance. Today I offered a shot of beer that I had bought with my dad.  (I am in the broom-closet still, alas.)  I look at it and I see the time I got to spend with my dad shopping, going through the day together on a Saturday afternoon.  I wanted to say thanks–and the offering (with a lit tealight candle) is a tangible way to represent my gratitude.  Would I need to do it, if I was using a strictly Christian framework? Probably not.

My offering:

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(Well, the beer is in the shot glass behind the candle.  The symbol representing the Archangels is a card that a good friend and fellow Pagan sent to me last Christmas.  The other candle, with the red beads that is bowl-shaped, is dedicated to Anatu, a Canaanite goddess.)

These thoughts may not hew strictly to the Pagan Blog Project, but it gets things off my chest.


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One Pagan’s Blog Project

I’ve been browsing and nosing around paganism for a long time. The Pagan Blog Project is what’s finally getting me off my butt to actually explore and keep up with my spiritual practice.  I have a spiritual practice already–Roman Catholicism, which I still share with family and friends.  But the contemporary scandals surrounding Churchianity–that it is ok to defend pedophilic priests, while constantly pointing to a person’s sexuality as a badge or a bar to being loved–makes me ill. Even typing those words makes me realize that I need more from my spiritual life than rules and threats.

Thus, the Pagan Blog Project. Wish me luck.