Palms of Our Hands

A Polytheist's Blog


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What can I do?

A lot of times, I feel like a single, lost pagan/polytheist, especially since the tradition I am trying to follow (Canaanite polytheism) often makes me wonder if I’m deluding myself. “Does any of it matter?” Despair is the path of least resistance. Hope sometimes takes work, but it causes more things to happen than despair.

The House of Vines

All you can do is what you can do

One of my favorite stories about the Ptolemies comes down to us from the Roman author Claudius Aelianus who compiled his Varia Historia or Historical Miscellany in the middle of the second century of the common era. According to Aelian (1.30) Ptolemy Philometor had a young companion named Galestes with whom he was deeply enamored. Although everyone remarked on the physical beauty of Galestes it was actually his deep wisdom and gentle spirit that had won Ptolemy over. Galestes was always at the side of his king and the pair especially liked to go out riding and hunting together.

Well, one day they were out on an adventure when Galestes spotted some young men who were being led off to the executioner’s block. These were troubled times in the land of Egypt. It seemed like there was constant turmoil – wars…

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Do Your Job

I’ve been struggling a lot with anxiety and continuing on my polytheist path. But Hecatedemeter has often posted something right when I needed some answers. 🙂

hecatedemeter

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Even when things seem grim, you are still the Witch of your place.  And, as Granny Weatherwax once explained, “A Witch ought never to be frightened in the darkest forest because she should be sure in her soul that the most terrifying thing in the forest was her.”

So be the Witch.

When you salt the soup, salt health and savor into it.

When you plant the seeds, plant growth, prosperity, and wealth.

When you run water on your hands, come back into the presence of the Goddess.

When you see evil, bind it, hex it, return all of its energy to Mother Earth because, as we all know, “One thing becomes another, in the Mother, in the Mother.”

When you see beauty and strength, power and compassion, honor and humility, mirth and reverence, guard them, grow them, strengthen them, for that is the charge of the Goddess.

If you’re…

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People of Prayer: A Call for Submissions for the Spring 2018 Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal

Signal boosting for those who are in the middle of (or are needing a reason for) writing or making prayers for their Gods!

amor et mortem

Seeking Submissions for the 2018 Spring Issue of Isis-Seshat Journal on the Theme of “People of Prayer”–Deadline: Friday, March 30

If meditation is the act of listening to the Divine, prayer is the art of speaking. It’s an under-discussed topic in Polytheistic and theistic Pagan communities, which is unfortunate, as it really is the most basic component of establishing and sustaining a devotional relationship to one’s Patron Deity or multiple Holy Powers. Many people who “come home” to a Pagan spiritual path may have an aversion to prayer because they associate the practice with the undesirable (Abrahamic) religion of their upbringing, but there are ways to overcome the negative perceptions and conditioning related to former religious experiences so that one can have a thriving, judgment- and distraction-free prayer practice that sustains the spirit. Those are the issues I’d like to explore in the Spring 2018 issue of Isis-Seshat journal, a…

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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.