This is my second attempt to reblog this entry, so I apologize if you’re getting this twice.
This is a great essay from Wintersong Tashlin on his struggle; his shamanic and magical practice does not always look like some of the stereotypical aesthetics that people expect when they think of ‘shamans’ or ‘magicians’. Obviously, this fits many of the posts I’ve made in the past few months – emphasizing the point that your personal spiritual practice should work for YOU, whether or not it looks like anyone else’s practice.
This brings up two points that I’ve been musing on; I can’t promise I won’t elaborate on them down the road in their own posts. The first is about relating to Gods in a way that does not match how others may talk/write about their experiences. I was blessed this weekend to be a part of a ritual for a friend; he revealed that he has been working with Odin in a spiritual context. He had kept it close to the chest because his experiences of and with Ol’ One Eye did not always mirror most of the published experiences between the Old Bastard and his devotees. He also wanted to explore Odin without the preconceptions that both the Lore, as well as the blogs and books written by other devotees, would have given him. I applaud him on this, because honestly I think it creates a stronger and more personal foundation for one’s devotional relationship/practice, which will be easier and more enjoyable to continue long-term. It may seem counterintutive, but there can be a very powerful and important reason to throw away all the academic writings, the blogs and the books, and even the Lore itself; and just listen to your heart, to the wind, the pulse of the earth, and look for the messages/omens/signs that come from those you are praying to. Develop your *own* relationship with the Holy Ones, because nothing can replace devotional activities that come from the heart.
The second thing that relates to Winter’s thoughts is my musings on male/male (M/M) God spouse/consort relationships. I get emails and comments asking if Loki ever takes male-identified mortal lovers/spouses. Part of the problem is that the majority of the blogs are not only written by female-identified mortals in sacred relationship with male-identified Deities (www.rockofeye.wordpress.com being one of the exceptions), but the things they write and conversations they have have this assumptive heterosexuality to it. It goes even deeper, when Wiccan and other Pagan initiates are frequently asked/required to choose two Patrons deities – one male, one female. The reasons could be legion, but I find it interesting that although most covens are open to LGBT persons, they are so stuck on this idea that male/female represents divergent energies, or fertility (of which, can’t a genderqueer female and a pre-op MtF person make a baby? We’ve already had transgender male “mothers” in the media…when can we get past this idea of assumptive heterosexuality as the only representation of Patronage? It’s okay to choose two Patrons from different pantheons, but not two Patrons from the same gender. I think for someone who was raised by two moms/dads might find same sexed Patrons to mirror the parental aspects of Patronage.
In summation, Wintersong’s essay is another welcome voice in the growing choir of reclaiming the P in UPG – PERSONAL. At the end of the day, if you’re dissatisfied with your spiritual journey, it’s a good time to strip everything away and get back to what sings to your heart, what inspires you to kinds of worship that fulfills you and makes you feel more enervated and alive, and stop worrying about how some stranger(s) on the Internet or in the Kindred/coven, or even just people who worship the same Deities, or use the same descriptive terms for their spiritual Work. Just follow your bliss, as Joseph Cambell said, and if you are living strong in your personal spiritual expression, the rest will flow like water.
So stop reading my blather and go read Winter’s post. It’s awesome, and moving, and important.
I do not own a drum.
Ok, that’s not really a fair statement. I actually own two very nice drums, they just don’t do me any good. Part of my plethora of neurological issues is an automaticity and fine-motor control delay that makes it impossible for me to maintain a drum beat. I start off fine, but the processing delay means that each strike of the drumhead takes place little bit later than it should, sending me out of rythm within a short time.
For most people, not being able to use a drum would be a tiny footnote in life. However, for someone who publicly identifies as a shaman (or more properly, a shaman-magician) and spirit worker, not using a drum is a bit like being an accountant who’s bad at math.
Of course, the drum issue is just one of a raft of ways in which my Work…
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