Celebrate the Laity

Being a devotee is wonderful, and it took me a really long time to learn that!

Cıbear-ḟoraoıs Sneaċta

Nobody gets paid to be Pagan.

Think about it.

People get paid to teach, to lecture, to write, to make videos, to sell crafted items, to run workshops or courses, but nobody is being paid to be a Pagan. People don’t get paid to be religious. You believe what you believe, you pray, you hold your rituals, you perform cultus, but nobody pays you for those things. Being religious is not a full-time job. It’s a massive part of someone’s life that can (and in my opinion, should) intersect with every part of someone’s life, but you need to spend time on those other things in life for your religion to impact, intersect with, inform, support.

If someone is a Muslim taxi driver, they’re not just a Muslim. They’re also a taxi driver. If someone is a Catholic grandma, they’re not just a Catholic. They’re also a grandma.

Paganism, in…

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The New Normal: Keep On Keeping On ⁊ The Normal Now: How I’m Doing

I want to write a post defining my religion! This is such a cool exercise.

Cıbear-ḟoraoıs Sneaċta

Definition of “fallow

There is an inevitable lull after people first get into polytheism. I’m not the first person to talk about it. The excitement of a new religion, new communities, diving into research and exploring praxis wanes and you sink into your new normal. You just keep on keeping on.

But I think that’s the point.

There is no destination, it’s a journey. Like a romantic relationship.

I think this is an overlooked thing that people ought to consider when daydreaming about a world of polytheism being normalised and widely accepted.
Let’s say everyone who dreams of groves and temples, purpose-built shrines and so on got their wishes granted. What then?

I think a significant number of people in wider pagandom would not be, and are not, content just worshipping. They want another breakthrough, they want another milestone to gauge success by (whatever “success” means here)…

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Heathenry online & Samhain plans

It’s been a month so it felt like time I posted here again.

The whole Luciferian exploration I mentioned in my last post went kaput. Satanism seems like an angry reaction against Christianity and I just don’t hate that religion enough to position my whole religious praxis in revolt against Christianity. Lucifer was an interesting god to explore and learn about though. I’m hoping he has no hard feelings about my decision to recommit to Heathenry.

I’ve joined Reddit for the paganism there, specifically the subreddit r/heathenry and their Discord server Skíðblaðnir (or, Skid, as it is lovingly called). It’s fascinating to look at the reconstructionist work that folks are doing! They even got me researching household wights! I’ve spent ten years of my heathenry in mysticism and doxa (aka UPG), so it’s really interesting to try looking more into the reconstructionist viewpoint.

I’ll admit, I don’t have a lot of time and energy to actually do that though. I want to, and I am trying to read LeCouteux’s work on household spirits, but… I am also in the middle of grad school, so by the time I am done reading academic articles for the day, all I want is a romance novel or a chill video game. Maybe I’ll try reading it again after grad school. I gotta start making a list of books to read once I graduate haha.

I did, at least, write a few rituals including a fire-keeping hearth deity (Loki), sanctifying deities (Thor or Jormundgandr, depending on who I was libating to), and guardians (Heimdall). It’s cool to try adding more structures to my rites. It’s something new.

My brother, his girlfriend, and I are planning a Samhain rite to Hela and the ancestors. Afterwards, I will guide them both through their very first sumbel! I’m making the sumbel a very open rite, so that my brother can invoke Hellenic deities and his gf can invoke her Wiccan deities. I want everybody to feel included. It’s gonna be great.

A fun aside: my dad has gotten into incense lately, which is great because as a witchy pagan, I have collected way too much incense. So he’s helping me get rid of it, slowly but surely.

Do you have plans for Samhain?

Contract Magic

Well, that’s what I’m calling it. Basically I create contracts with spirits or deities to set boundaries, determine goals, have experiments, outline limits, and set timelines. I find it a really useful and practical process.

I read a lot of blog posts and pagan news articles on the dangers of oaths before experimenting with this kind of magic. I had a friend look over the contract to ensure I wasn’t getting myself into trouble. I also counted past oaths I’ve made and pondered, “Did I complete this successfully? What happened when I did? What happened if I violated a term?”

When I call this process “magic”, I’m not casting spells over the paperwork or anything–that, in my mind, would mar the consent for all parties involved. But the contracts themselves, as a living document, feel magical.

I realized that I actually tried to start this process when I was in deep psychosis five years ago. I have not bothered to look at these old contracts because they are too painful to see, but the seed of the idea was there. Those old contracts were a scarring failure of mine. But now, I feel this process could become a great strength. I hope you’ll forgive me, readers, for not outlining what those failures were–that time of psychosis was deeply painful and I don’t like to talk about it.

At any rate, I feel this new adventure will be successful. Amusingly, I am rather inspired by the warlock class in D&D 5th edition, who creates pacts with otherwordly entities to gain powers. It does feel a little like that.

I suppose it was my recent interactions with Lucifer that reminded me of this idea so he deserves a:

Hail Lucifer!

Become the Monster as The Undead Warlock from Van Richten's Guide to  Ravenloft – Nerdarchy

Image description: a young black half elf warlock wearing a marvelous red cloak trimmed in gold. There are purple flowy bits. He has navy pinstripe pants and knee-high boots. He carries a small skeleton pet. He has a sword belted at his right side. Source.

A sunny afternoon…

Today, I lay in bed. It was a sunny afternoon and I soaked in the sunshine. I began daydreaming about ways to revitalize my practice. I think that I can cultivate a longing for my pagan deities simply by doing nothing and wishing for them. I *think* that might jumpstart devotion again.

I wish to foster a longing for gods

for dancing in the woods

for bonfires at midnight

I wish to remember my love

of raising the mead horn high

Daydreaming <3

This daydreaming period has been really good for me. I’m starting to get a clearer idea of what I want and where my practice is going to go. Like a wish, I want to keep it quiet for now, in case it doesn’t come true.

I’ve been planning to return to some of my beginning pagan/witchcraft practices and I’ve been poking lightly at Eastern spirituality–primarily Buddhism. (My little brother has been fascinated by Eastern spirituality lately, and got me reading Ram Dass, but Be Here Now is too ungrounded for me. Still, it was a fun read.)

It’s been really really beautiful to daydream. I can’t explain how lifegiving this practice has been. I hope to make a habit of it.

Creativity with and without the gods

On Friday night, as I went to bed, I started getting ideas for sewing, specifically embroidering the runes. I started seeing images of what that could look like. I got really excited and couldn’t sleep. I scribbled down my ideas, ate a banana, read a book for awhile, and fell asleep at 3 a.m. It’s a funny thing that happens to me fairly frequently: my brain is moving too fast for me to sleep. Often, it’s an anxious habit where I ruminate too much, but on the odd occasion, I am too excited or curious about something to sleep.

Today, I cut and ironed some old light blue fabric. I chose the thread colour (a nice dark blue). I found a wooden hoop frame to hold the fabric. Hopefully sometime today, I can take some time to chill and sew.

For all that I am being creative now, I have withdrawn from the gods somewhat. I’m still not making offerings. I’m trying to use social media less so I can cross stitch more. I’m daydreaming a lot about who I want to become. I got my hair dyed purple yesterday, which feels like a beautiful step in the right direction. I’ve started taking up tabletop role playing games again and I am plotting a quiet game with some friends. I haven’t returned to my writing practice yet but I hope to!

I’m also pondering what is wrong in my practice. I had an intuition while half asleep recently. I need to find the roots of my spiritual unhappiness and examine it before clean water can flow through again. I think there are many reasons why my practice is drained right now, and I gotta sit with that.

Today, I spent a good hour or so outside cleaning my new garden plot and getting rid of old junk. My old neighbour moved out, leaving the space free for me! I hope to make a small outdoor shrine for my household gods and possibly a small spot for the Buddha too.

I might make a small indoor rock garden to pour offerings in during the colder months. I think it would be a cool way to dispose of offerings.

I think there’s something to be said for focusing on earthly expressions of faith and creativity. Connecting to my garden, to the sunshine… I think these things will bring back something missing in my life.

There’s a certain vibe the gods have been exposing me to: timelessness, or eternity. Or… something like that? It’s a feeling. But, these past few months, it’s become a concept rather than a physical feeling. Sometimes I can reach it through poetry, but… I’ve gotten off track. And it’s a state I need to try to reach in my body and by myself, without needing the gods all the time. It’s a certain sense of peace too. I don’t really know how to explain it. Sometimes I could access it when doing rune-castings… maybe I should try that again.

What activities bring you peace?