Palms of Our Hands

A Polytheist's Blog


Leave a comment

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.

Advertisements


6 Comments

Khats’a, and a Window with a View

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Arles-abadia-3.jpg

Image from Wikipedia Commons.

Today I decided to set my ass down and actually talk to the Deities that I’ve been trying to speak-with-and alternatively-push-away.  (I keep my very, VERY beginner invitations to ‘Ilu and ‘Athiratu, the Father and Mother of the Canaanite pantheon, the Divine Assembly, to ‘Anatu (the Warrior Goddess and Whose Name scared me so many years ago…and then became the first clue that led me to learning about Them), and Choranu…who seems interested in me for His own reasons.

I’m wondering if my avoidance issues are partly hormonal or chemical, because this backing-away crashes a lot of my life. The general impression I received from speaking with Them was that it was ridiculously easy to accrue khats’a, which in Canaanite religion is regarded as ‘sin’.* Not the ‘sin’ of Christianity, where sinning equals disobedience equals spiritual and eternal death (thanks, Christianity…). But sin as in imbalance of the self and/or soul.  As Tess Dawson writes in The Horned Altar (p. 27),

The Canaanite concept of sin implied that the order of the universe had gotten out of alignment: someone tweaked nature or community the wrong way, or a person had committed a baneful act. The Canaanite concept differs in nuance from the modern Christian idea of disobedience to the church. Khats’a–sin, transgression, or misdeed–results from cause and effect: you commit a wrongdoing, and entropy results.  Although punishment can follow from committing a misdeed, any ill effects usually come of natural cycles.  Correcting the wrongdoing or performing certain activities restores balance, exorcises the pollution, and restores “beauty”.

In the Catholic school I went to, we had our First Confession with the priest.  We could sit face-to-face with him, or go sit behind a screen for some anonymity and privacy.  It was rather formulaic: we had to recall our sins (or think really really hard on what qualified as sin!), and as penance, the priest often gave us a certain number of Hail Marys (or the Marian prayer at the end of the Rosary, the Hail Holy Queen) to recite.  All the way to eighth grade, it was some variation of the same theme.  Did it bring peace of mind and soul? It did.  Did it mean I would never ever sin again, and be good with God forever? Hardly…  This “Confess and recite X number of prayers” did its job in introducing the idea of recognition and rectitude of spiritual imbalance to a seven-year-old.

As an adult, I think of it as a window getting cloudy. Did that window get cloudy from the general comings-and-goings of life?  Did it get cloudy from me throwing dirt or other objects at it in anger/frustration/resentment?  Did it get cloudy because I neglected to clean up after myself where I could?  The difference then is that I developed a near-panicked desire to always keep my window clean, and the first new splotch of dust signaled how unworthy and disgusting I was to God.  Nowadays, I look at it as how I would look at cleaning my own body, or brushing my own teeth or something just as mundane.  The ideal would be to always be clean. But having to attend to a dirty dish, or a dirty body by cleaning doesn’t mean that I am forever a horrible, disgusting creature. Just clean up! How and why the window got dirty, to me, equates to the situation at hand. Spraying Windex on a window is different from having the window shatter and replacing it.  In both situations, action is necessary because leaving it as it is means imbalance.  However, taking the action does not demean the God, or the human trying to return to a right relationship with Them. At least, that is my thought so far.

Through actions (good and bad), and daily living, the miasma of khat’sa clings to everyone.  And as for me, it appears I accrue khats’a like a white shirt at a tomato spaghetti luncheon.  I thanked the Deities and asked Them to help me with living in right accordance, to clean my ‘window’ to Them.

Right after giving my offerings to Them, my brother decided to visit and help mow my lawn.  Right after THAT, my father wanted to come to my house and re-landscape the way he wanted it to look–tear down the old fence and make way for a fresh image.  I grumbled and muttered through the serene Saturday being turned into a construction day, but at the end of it, the yard looked better, if a little ragged at the edges. It also made me wonder if this was a result of talking with the Deities today.

If I had known that there was going to be large-scale earth-moving and weed pulling, I would have told the land and house spirits before my family came over.

Which brings me to another dilemma about myself that I’ll cover in a different post: what kind of pagan am I?

*Excerpt from The Horned Altar.


Leave a comment

Pagan Blog Project – M: Moving On From Christopaganism

The first time in awhile I could come and post–school has eaten me alive, but I finished my program and am gonna start job hunting soon.  Meanwhile, I’ve been slowly building a daily ritual of offerings and prayer towards the Canaanite pantheon.

I’m conscientious about my path at the moment.  I’ve been exploring different spiritualities and religions for years, ever since going to college.  In the last 5 years, I’ve always come back to Catholicism. As cool it would be to worship the deities of the Philippines, where my family comes from, I have a hard time associating the Philippines (and my family) with anything but Catholicism.

So it kind of scares me when I realized that I am going further into studying and honoring the Canaanite pantheon.  For all my bouncing in and out of Catholicism, I have felt a response to my calls to the Gracious Deities: Athiratu, Anatu, Choranu, so far.  I am drawn to Them, the way I used to be drawn to the Virgin Mary.  My connection isn’t that clear with them yet, but the glimpses I get during prayer or simply meditating upon Them have shown me that They are very present.  Anatu is a goddess of action (and Her myth and associations scare the heck out of me); Choranu is quiet and steadfast; Athiratu has helped me with Her wisdom and sheer presence to help me find a stable center.

I’ll probably find out more, as soon as I get over myself and reach out. I am a master of worrying myself out of actually doing anything.

Resources that helped me get started on learning about Canaanite religion:

Tess Dawson – Her works are what introduced me to Anatu and the Canaanite pantheon:
Kina’ani: Impressions of Tess Dawson, Canaanite Polytheist (blog)
Natib Qadish (very informational website!)
Whisper of Stone
The Horned Altar

Lilinah’s website Qadash Kinahnu, a very informative site that brings a second perspective to the books above.


Leave a comment

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:

294

(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.