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I've never much been one for religious jewelry, but that doesn't mean I haven't generally got a god or two tucked somewhere or other about my person. You could call them “pocket gods.”
The Norse called them hlutir and carried them in pouches. (Hlutr is the same as English lot, as in “drawing lots,” which gives one something of an idea of their cultural importance.) The witch-wife Heiðr once told Ingimund the Old, while he still lived in Norway, that he would settle in an undiscovered land west over sea, and that the sign of the truth of her seeing would be this: that the little silver hlutr of Frey that he always carried in his pouch would be lost, but that he would find it again buried in the ground when he dug to raise the pillars of his house in the new land. And so indeed it came to be when, years later, he settled in Iceland.
Which pocket-gods I carry depends on the season and the vagaries of my own thought and mood. Shown above are two that are frequently with me, both worked in Baltic amber: a Sun-disc and a Thunder-ax. Sun and Thunder are two of my best-loved gods, and I like to bear their main (power) with me as I go through my day.
“Think what god it may be."
(Ezra Pound, Religio)
In the Baltics, conversion came late and memory of the Old Gods lingered long. Some of Europe's first New Pagan Movements got their start there during the period of national and cultural efflorescence between the First and Second World Wars known as the Baltic Renaissance. Like ourselves, the pagans of Latvia and Lithuania are new pagans, but they have been so for a generation longer than we have, and their experience has much to teach us.
The small (11½ x 8 x 3½ inches) inlaid wooden box shown above, from Latvia, dates to the 1920s. It is a cash box, with interior compartments for coins, banknotes, and bills. The inlaid pattern on the outside lid represents the phases of the Moon.
Aries the Ram, Taurus the Bull, Gemini the Twins, Cancer the Crab--Zodiac symbols are arguably one of the most recognizable motifs in the world.
Kayti Welsh, who brought us the 78 Tarot collaborative deck, has teamed up once again with different designers to create a fun, sparkly take on the 12 Zodiac symbols with AuraScopes--a set of greeting cards, metallic prints and T-shirts....
We are perfectly free to think of our everyday life as mundane and label only those moments in which we are doing something out of the ordinary as magical, but that would be based on an illusion. I call it "the illusion of mundane." It's quite a pervasive illusion in our current cultural climate, and it's one that we're all bound to be seduced by now and again (like when we're washing the dishes or standing in line at the DMV), but it's still an illusion. In truth, there is no such thing as mundane: this life experience is completely and utterly wondrous. What's more, it's mysterious, magical, magnificent, astonishing, and transcendent. Yes, we will forget that sometimes, but that doesn't mean that it's not always true.
In essence, this is the heart of my spiritual path: to recognize the magic in everything and to express and channel the power contained within this recognition as much as possible, all the time. This means that not just our obvious magical workings, but also everything we do - no matter how habitual or commonplace - is an opportunity to celebrate the Great Holy Mystery, to express our power to create positive change, and to honor the enchantment in each moment and in everything....
Here's another wonderful deck currently crowdfunding: The Earthbound Oracle Deck by Amy Swartz. I own her Majors-only Wooden Tarot, and it's gorgeous. She paints on wood, and those images are then turned into cards.
You can support Amy's latest project on Kickstarter at this link (I did)....
The highest figure of the Baltic pantheon is Dievas (Deywis/Deyws/Dievs) and is twenty ninth deity from the graveyard list. He name is of Indo-European origin and is related to Dios/Zeus. The name means both sky and god, also viewed as the shining dome of the sky or heaven shine. In Lithuanian dialects, he is called Pondzejis, Avestian, Daeva, Tiwat and Tiwaz.