In response to this post here: http://thehouseofvines.com/2013/08/08/polytheism-without-borders/, and as a result of several recent conversations that I've been having with various folks, I've decided that once a week (provided I get enough questions), I"ll be posting a 'Devotion 101' series. What does this mean?
Well, I will answer questions, no matter how simple they may be, on devotion: how to do it, why we do it, how to get started. Readers can ask me "am i doing X right?" or "how can I honor Deity X better' and I'll do my best to answer. So long as I get questions from people, I'll keep this series running, maybe not every week (my academic term is starting soon after all) but as close to it as possible.
I love the Norse Moon God. There isn't very much information on Him in the surviving lore, and yet slowly but surely over the past decade His cultus has been restoring and rebuilding itself. This is a joy to see and it's an equal joy to be a part of such growing devotion. I've found He is a very hard God not to love. His Presence evokes longing and brings with it aching beauty twinned with the hint of ancient power. He touches the heart like no other Deity, and it often seems He moves with an exquisitely calculated sensuality throughout our world. Mani is mystery and in like fashion evokes the hunger for mystery.
We don't actually have very much concrete information on Him. He's the God of the moon and guides the moon across the night sky, always chased by the wolf Hati. His sisters are Sunna and Sinthgunt and He is of the House of Mundilfari, the Time Turner. He is sometimes said to travel with two children, a boy Hjuki and and girl Bil whom He rescued from neglectful parents. He is the nephew of Nott, or Night. That's what we know from lore. From direct experience of Him, not just by me, but by many of His devotees, we know that He is fascinated by humanity and the process of embodiment. He watches over abused children and notes every tear, every wound, every scar. He is a special protector of those affected by emotional pain and mental illness, and once, He was very fierce.
There is a desperation in how I fight the Filter now. I am aware of that. There didn't used to be. There was grit, determination, focus, but not vicious desperation. Over the past few months it changed, something in me changed and quite recently someone asked me what that was. It's simple really. My ancestors threw me into the direct experience of the sundering of our traditions. I stood in the flow of it and shared their experience and emotions. Then at the same time that was happening, the blogosphere erupted into a volcanic debate between polytheists and non-theistic pagans. why was this so significant to me personally? Why did it impact the place from which I fight the Filter? Because it showed me how bad off we truly are. It showed me the lay of the land and how deeply the damage went. It showed me how far we were from any coherent foundational roots. Until this past May and June, I had truly thought that more people were in ongoing devotional relationship with their Gods and dead, that more people were doing the work. My eyes have been opened. I see well now why the Havamal warns that no man is happy who is over-wise.
I’m going to step away from my usual blogging theme this week to share a topic that came to me while driving the two hours it took me to get to my camping destination. (Hubby and I are on staff for a Pagan retreat here in Colorado and this was our work weekend.) We had stopped for lunch at a place where the server recognized our t-shirts as Pagan in content. So she proceeded to ask questions which required long answers. Neither of us had the time. I needed to get back on the road and she needed to help her other customers. So in hopes that it will be of service to her (I so hope she emails me!), those just starting out and those that are trying to make sense of what the broader community is, here is my viewpoint. I am NOT trying to start up the “my way vs. your way” debate again…most of this is based on my own experiences and observances. Your mileage, as always, may vary.
As I've already noted in a previous post, I will be taking July off as part of the polytheistic month of silence. I've got a number of good articles already planned for Aug 1, starting with one about the beloved Norse moon God Mani. I hadn't quite decided what to post as my final June article though. I wanted something a bit more useful than a class advertisement! In the end, since I plan on making strides in compiling my next Odin devotional during my internet sabbatical, I decided to leave with a prayer sequence to Odin, the God of my heart, Whom I adore above all Others. Enjoy and may my American readers have a wonderful (and safe) fourth of July.