Palms of Our Hands

A Polytheist's Blog


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Gratitude for the Purifying One – To Choranu

Kudurru, or stone document that records a contract.

Kudurru, or stone document that records land contracts, and the gods who enforce it.

O Wise One, he who tames the snaketooth poison,
it is Choranu whom the Lady Mare calls for aid.

She pleas for her children, calls for her young ones,
to ease the scorpion’s sting, to save from harm.

The tamarisk is in your hand, the barbed branch in your grip.
The reed clacks loudly, the woody stems crush the oath-breaker’s skull.
The date palm spreads, sweeps, the fronds an outstretched
hand toward life.

Wise as serpents you are,
Choranu, Snake-Mage!
Renew the body, shred the old skin.

He who is the Purifier, the Hallowed Exorcist
no poison can sting you
the air made sweet by Your breath,

Choranu.

Inspired by writings of:

“The Mare and Horon”, translated by Simon B. Parker. Ugaritic Narrative Poetry (1997). Canaanite myth. 

 “The God Choron: Enchanter, Exorcist, Enforcer”, article by Tess Dawson.  Anointed: A Devotional Anthology for the Deities of the Near and Middle East (2011).

–Spoken curse, “May Choron break  your skull!”. Similar to modern English, “Go to hell!”

Image of kudurru (Akkadian for ‘boundary stone’) depicting the snake god Nirah, representative of Ishtaran, deity of Sumerian city Der. Via Wikipedia Commons.


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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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E is for ….Eclectically Elemental and Earthy

Faffing on youtube, I found this dazzling dubstep/violin video that mashed the two types of music beautifully. There are many tracks concerning the Elements, but this is one modern paean I LOVE.   

I am still discovering my practice.  Being in and out of paganism ever since I started studying it in college, while I am aware of the Elements, my practice has not exactly been earth-based.  It’s not like Christianity (or Roman Catholicism in particular) teaches special attention to the earth.  It’s a glaring lack in my spirituality that I do want to remedy.

Despite my not being aware or believing in the Elements, I have over the years recognized my ‘native Element’ if you will: Intution, aka Water in many magickal systems.  My awareness of Water/Intuition came early in childhood. I was easily, emotionally, overwhelmed.  Any kind of argument or shouting match felt oppressive to me, and the only way to release that smothering feeling was crying.  My folks often shook their head and told me not to be “too emotional”.  Trying to divorce myself from emotions is as sensible as telling me not to breathe.  Even up to this day, I feel awkward about reading situations through my feelings.

Later on in my life I’ve gotten lots of comments and questions about how it is that I intuit a lot of emotions and motivations in situations.  And so long as I remember not to be too personal in confrontations, most of my emotions remain bottled up long enough that I can escape somewhere private and then let the dam down.

As I am moving further along in my career as a teacher-in-training, knowing where I am mentally and emotionally will be my starting point.  My instinct this year has been to study the Elements, starting with Earth.  My inner knowledge was pretty adamant about “ONLY ONE at a time”.  I decided, while Winter is still clutching the Northwest, that Earth would be the Element to learn.

Earth: it’s stability, it’s ‘earthy’ in that it doesn’t deny the processes of the body. It’s the home, the physical, the food to eat, the bills to pay.  I’ve only done small, off-the-cuff invocations of Earth.  The most recent time was when I was getting over my cold.  My chest and nose were totally stuffed with snot, and it was hard to breathe.  I did a rosary, and just asked to be able to breathe easily.  In that prayer, it felt like the energy of the earth climbed through the floor and into my body. I could picture the various arteries and veins bringing oxygen to my cells. By going deeper into myself, I was coming aware of the forces already inside me.  It pushed the worst of the cold out of my chest and nose.  Seriously, from that point onward I was gaining back my energy and health. It would have happened on its own…but the fact that something I did made it happen sooner, truly convinced me of Elemental energies.

I’m going to start composting in my yard this year.  Also, I want to be conscious of  planting both vegetables and flowering plants, to feed both myself and the bees around the area.  So as spring approaches, I’m excited to get to know Earth–the planet and the element–better.