Pagan Paths

Alchemical and spiritual journey together with Thoth-Djehuty – exploring Kemeticism, Hermeticism, spiritual alchemy, and following the path of devotion.

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A Valentine for Your God

A Valentine for Your God (Written together with A.D. Kent)

"The whole thing is to love God
and to taste His sweetness.
He is sweetness and the devotee is its enjoyer.
The devotee drinks the sweet Bliss of God.
God is the lotus and the devotee the bee.
The devotee sips the honey of the lotus.

As a devotee cannot live without God,
so also God cannot live without His devotee.
Then the devotee becomes the sweetness,
and God its enjoyer.
The devotee becomes the lotus, and God the bee.
It is the Godhead that has become these two
in order to enjoy Its own Bliss."

—  Sri Ramakrishna, "The Sacred Jewels of Yoga"

St.Valentine's Day!
Ahh, it's the Secular Day of Love made popular by greeting card companies-- and the Feast of Saint Valentine, which has more significance if you're Catholic. Most people get through not having the traditional secular day of love “valentine” by ignoring the public displays of affection or out and out having an “anti-valentine” of some kind. Ie ask why expend that energy being negative? There's enough negative energy in the world already. If you have no other valentine you may do a variety of loving things for yourself-- or in devotion for your God. That's really what I want to talk about.

Divine Love. Love of the Divine. Bhakti.

There's the wikipage on it, so wiki away if need be, and then come back. If not then good, you're just that much ahead. The important thing is Love is an experience that grows-- sometimes faster, sometimes slower, depending on how you nurture it. If you even WANT to love your Goddess or God deeply, then probably you are already on the way of growing that love.

“Teach me how to love you”, “Let me love you more and more every day”.
These are absolutely legit wishes for you to present your deity and no one is pushed into that type of relationship with a deity-- (consent is a very big thing. A powerful thing.) If you want it, just ask for it. (If you don't, please make that clear too) Just ask for it in a prayer. Ask the deity to help you to “grow more in love” with them, and if that feeling between you is mutual, They will definitely help! You may notice the changes coming into your life, emotions and feelings that burst forth. These small changes will build into a sense of renewal and well-being.

Now, there are five traditional approaches to Divine Love-- peace, service, friendship, unconditional care, or intimate love. Most people practice a mix of them when involved in devotion to their supreme or chief deity/deities, so don't feel off if you do as well. In terms of intimate love-- this is the courtship-dance of the soul and the god; for some people this takes on more erotic desire overtones (as Radha for Krishna, Mercury and PsycheDarlughdach for Brigid, Ariadne for Dionysus, Eros and Psyche - etc) , for others it is lust-less pursuit of the hierogamy (as Parvati for Shiva --- Narad for Vishnu, Amandus for Sophia, St. Juan for Our Lady of Guadelupe Tonatzin, St. Theresa in her ecstasy for Christ- etc).  This “sacred marriage” between god or goddess and devotee is a melding and mingling into one spirit, one being becoming Love itself.

"In the darkness beyond distinct manner of existing, all multiplicity disappears and the spirit loses what is its own. It disappears with regard to its own activity. This is the highest goal and the 'where' beyond boundaries. In this the spirituality of all spirits ends. Here to lose oneself forever is eternal happiness. Here in this region beyond thought the human spirit actively soars. In this wild mountain region of the 'where' beyond God there is an abyss full of play and feeling for all pure spirits. It is hidden for everything that is not God, except for those with whom he wants to share Himself." - Henry Suso.

I would also recommend reading about bhakti and the hierogamy from various sources (cultivating love to deity, and, bhakti-devotion can be directed onto deity from any pantheon, it’s NOT limited to hindu Gods, with some nuances -look at the wiki, or any of the links referencing bhakti in other faiths from that page-, but still). "Bhakti Yoga" by Sri Swami Sivananda is an excellent Bhakti resource. Even #bhakti tag on tumblr is helpful. Also I’d recommend to read some western approach to bhakti, such as Liber Astarte (Liber 175) by Aleister Crowley, where he gives some worthy advice about cultivating love to chosen deity.

22. Every breath, every word, every thought is an act of love with thee.
23. The beat of my heart is the pendulum of love.
24. The songs of me are the soft sighs:
25. The thoughts of me are very rapture:
26. And my deeds are the myriads of Thy Children, the stars and the atoms.
And Remember Well, that if thou wert in truth a lover, all this wouldst thou do of thine own nature without the slightest flaw or failure in the minutest part thereof. - Alesteir Crowley, Liber Astarte

However, I suggest a caveat: The love of deity evolves naturally. You don’t pick someone from the list and start pushing yourself into loving him or her (or them). You don’t start bhakti after divination made by a person who barely knows you and your soul, or at the command of someone else. You may decide to make devotions to gods you like to approach and honor them. As I understand it, bhakti is something that grows and evolves naturally. It’s like being in love--  You just know. You may promise a deity to make devotions and regular rituals for them but, I think, it’s impossible to force yourself into bhakti without having the initial attraction between God and Devotee.

“But the son of Brahma [Narada] says that bhakti is its own fruit.” Bhakti does not depend on any other authority for its validity, being itself the standard of authority. Furthermore, bhakti is the embodiment of peace and supreme ecstasy". – Rishi Narad

Also, it may worth you time to read Narada Bhakti Sutra (Narad is awesome), and the "Little Book of Eternal Wisdom" by Henry Suso-- and devotional poetry written by followers of Gods from different pantheons for inspiration and thoughts.

On this day of secular love, I just want to remind you that love between human soul and God is one of most wonderful experiences in the world and if you really WANT to love your God/dess “above all else”, ask in prayer about it.

O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
 For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
– psalm 50 (51)

"Psyche Receiving Cupid's First Kiss" (1798), by Francois Gerard
"Mercury and Psyche" (
1857), by Reinhold Begas

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Born in USSR and living in St. Petersburg, Russia; my spiritual journey started when I was a young teen. After more than 20 years of being practicing Russian Orthodox and later, Roman Catholic, I followed my heart always calling me to honor the Gods of Ancient Egypt. My devotion belongs to Thoth-Hermes-Djehuty, Thrice Greatest, Lord of Khemenu (Hermopolis), and I try to serve him as a priestess (hmt-Ntr). My path is independent, solitary and not hardcore reconstructionist, and I don’t belong to organized Kemetic temples.I studied biology in University, but after graduation, for many years have been working in telecommunications and computer networking. Now I work in international trade; but this is what I do “for a living”, as I’m poet and writer before all. I write poetry and prose since early childhood (of course, my writings are mostly in Russian) and I have some published books, science-fiction novels and poetry. I follow hermetic philosophy and viewpoints, and my interests, besides Ancient Egypt, include medieval history and art, Spiritual Alchemy, traveling around the world, translating books from English and studying more foreign languages (including Egyptian hieroglyphics). I am also president of the St. Petersburg chapter of the International Alchemy Guild.  


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