This morning I woke up to distant, rolling thunder and pounding rain. Most days I think, “Oh, it’s rain.” Today was also the first time I looked outside, I heard the rain and thought,
“Ahh…it is Ba’al Haddu coming through.”
It’s the morning after I sat before the Canaanite deities and made offerings to Them once more. I focused on what I wanted to offer Them, instead of the nebulous anxiety that I tend to let sway me. I took comfort in doing prostrations in front of my little shrine to the Gracious deities. Even when remembering that I’d forgotten to formally cleanse myself (and did so asap), the little mistakes just reminded me that so long as I was conscientious and sincere, it would be okay.
Looking at the rain, and consciously connecting it to Ba’al, suddenly made me realize how much I take the rain for granted. I live just outside of Seattle, in the western half of the state, and Seattle stakes part of its reputation on being the “Rainy City”. Rain is so ordinary, normal, and an irritation when you’re driving on the road. Seriously, I’ve seen people driving in a panic as if the concept of slippery ground had never ever happened until the hour after a downpour. (No really, cars can slide…)
Yet to the Canaanites, living in a mostly arid desert climate, rain’s presence or lack thereof was the sign of the divine’s favor. I have watched the differences in my plants when it rains. My garden’s growth was slow, steady, when I water it. (Sometimes I say a small thankful prayer to Athtaru, the Canaanite god of irrigation, for having fresh water to use so close by.) The day after a brief shower, however, the yard just seems to explode with greenery. Bigger leaves, bigger stems, bigger flowers, new shoots! Rainfall does that extra ‘something’ that irrigation just doesn’t seem to have.
Traveling has also taught me how much I take for granted fresh water. When I hear about how other states are draining their water tables, or splitting up the state rivers four ways, I become doubly glad that rain comes down pretty reliably in Washington (at least, my part of it). Giving thanks to Ba’al Hadad and all other gods that bring rain is the least I should be doing!
Today is considered the beginning of the Canaanite New Year, ‘Ashuru Mothabati, or the Festival of Dwellings. I had planned to do a proper ritual and celebration, but have obviously blanked on it due to life things happening. It’s also difficult to do a large ritual when my family is nearby. I don’t live with my parents, but they help me out a lot with finances, which means that they get to barge into my house whenever they want. They ARE family. And very Catholic, so having a daughter on a Canaanite path, giving offerings to Ba’al, is not something to spring on anyone unexpectedly.
So today was a very modest offering (grapes) to Ba’al Haddu. I read aloud part of the Ba’al Cycle where Ba’al Haddu is victorious. “Sixty-six towns he takes, seventy-seven towns he seizes.” Lightning goes where it wants, and I imagined that Yagrushu, the Driver, and Ayamiri, the Expeller, have a huge reach in Ba’al’s hands. The thunder reminded me of Ba’al finally agreeing with Kothar-wa-Hasis to build a window, where his mighty rains and voice come through, so I read that part as well.
Other gods I formally invited by name were Choranu, to ask for purification to be open to the Divine Assembly. And Kothar-wa-Hasis…because He insisted on being formally present. (???) I offered incense to Them in thanks.
Well, I have restarted a schedule to give offerings for at least seven days, mostly of small things like grapes, wine, and dates. I am also exploring using dice for divination, and making practice rolls with them. Something about clacking dice in my hand puts me in a meditative state. I have 3d6 (or for non-gamers, three six-sided dice), and a shoebox lid is the divination ‘board’ until I find a better one that can handle dice rolls without breaking them.