An announcement of sorts

I’ve been extremely hesitant to announce this, but there’s no point in creating a strict divide between my pagan blogs. For the past year, I’ve been writing devotional poems, prayers, and Twine games under the craft name Cardinal.

You can read or listen to my devotional works here or play my three Heathen-oriented games on itch.io for free here.

I’ve been using the name Cardinal on pagan Discord servers and it’s a name that has come to suit me. I chose the name as it was the first bird I really learned to recognize during the pandemic. (Yes, birding was a pandemic passion!)

On my itch.io profile, you’ll note that my username is battlepoet. This is my username on Discord and WP as well, and I’m changing my public name to reflect that. I use this account for my blog associated with my legal name and professional writing identity, which is why I am not using the name Cardinal as my public name. I want to keep my professional and public identities separate.

I’m going to be reorganizing this blog over the next week or so as I decide what kind of resource I want this space to be.

On another note:

Last year, polytheist monasticism leapt into visibility in a big way: an anthology of essays came out, a podcast released, a forum launched, and an online class came to be.

I was fascinated.

I am fascinated.

I’ve been diving deeper and deeper into this topic. I feel my gods are calling me to pursue this path.

So, I want to reorganize this blog with that calling in mind. Many of you are long-time readers. I want to thank you for following me. Your enthusiasm means the worlds to me. I hope you’ll continue to read as I delve even deeper into polytheism, worship, devotion, and joy. If you’re new here, welcome!

Help our household while we have Covid!

Beth has long been an Odin devotee. She’s been an inspiration to me on my path. Now, she and her wife are sick with COVID and are struggling to make ends meet. Please consider helping her out!

The Wytch of the North

Thanks to the generosity of a few amazing people, we have met our goal. So I was going to take this down (and I did stop publicizing it a couple of days ago) but realistically, we have no idea how long Jo will need to be out of work for. Here is the link to our fundraiser.

Also, I just went in and tested positive today too, so I won’t be able to do much work on the shop or look for a part-time job until I’m feeling better. (I can’t afford to put the shop on vacation, but any orders that come in will be processed in a well-ventilated area with me wearing a mask and gloves. According to the science, the chances of getting Covid from an object are very minimal, and that should go down to zero by the time the item reaches you.) I have just…

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A Summer Hello

It’s been a long time since I have written. I thought I might abandon this blog, but watching my friend type up their latest post inspired me to return. I spent the weekend resting at their cottage. It was wonderfully restorative. I got to canoe, drink tea, libate to a pre-Cambrian rock wight, chill with dear friends, read a lot, catch up on letters, pet a cat, and luxuriate by the fireplace. It was so nice.

What has happened since I last wrote?

  • I gave up on Hellenismos, since adding in a whole other religion was too difficult
  • Hel has firmly established her presence in my practice
  • I got to attend my very first Heathen festival
  • I married Odin this past July!!
  • I’m slowly reconnecting to some deities I met early in my practice 10-12 years ago
  • I’ve been forging deeper connections to Odin and Loki’s respective families
  • I wrote lots of devotional poetry
  • I’ve forged quite a few new pagan friendships
  • I’ve taken a few tentative steps towards using reconstructionist practices to shore up and firm my religion

My hope with this blog is to try tackle subjects and topics, rather than just writing about random things that come to mind. Perhaps that will add greater purpose to my blogging. And if that doesn’t work out, that’s fine, because it’s just an experiment.

I hope you are all well. ❤

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