Expansion of Love (#mypolytheism)

I’ve written about this topic before in other spaces of the internet, that I don’t do any sort of “Work” for my Gods.  But when I wrote about it in the past, it always came across like I was struggling with the idea that I didn’t do any “Work,” even when I talked about accepting that I had no “Work” to do.

A better way to phrase it, maybe, would be that I have nothing I’m required to do.  Except one thing: to love my Husband and his/our Family.  Everything else I do expands from that Love.

I keep two shrines, both of them in my bedroom: one to my Husband and I’s marriage, and one to his/our Family.

The shrine to our marriage is a simple one: a shrine cloth, a candle, some roses, a tarot deck we’re both rather fond of (the Welcome To Night Vale tarot, in case anyone is wondering,) and a set of marriage themed prayer beads I had made for us after a rough period in our marriage.  It’s not a shrine to him, or to us, it’s more a place where we can touch base and spend time together at the end of the day.

The shrine to his/our Family is a bit more complicated.  It’s covered in small items that represent his/our various Family members, grouped in ways that represent how his/our Family relates to one another.  I’d set it up thinking it was a shrine for his Kingdom, when my Husband pointed out to me that I’d only put up items for him, his sister, and his son.

“No, don’t change it,” he said with a smile, “keep it like this, I like it.”

I do two rituals a month; one on the dark moon, for my Husband, and one on the full moon, for my/his/our Family.  They’re simple rituals, lighting a candle and listening to music, or just talking about whatever’s on my mind at the time.

Even though the rituals are simple ones, they have a tendency of bringing up a lot of deep emotions.  Maybe it’s that I’m *expecting* that to happen–that the label of “ritual” makes me think something deep and life changing should happen.  Maybe it’s simply the timing of the full and dark moons.  (The dark moon is also a way of honoring one of my Husband’s pop culture Faces, that of Nahadoth, the Nightlord.)

Loving him also means learning more about him; not just about him “as a god” (quotes around that phrase because he recently asked me to “take the word ‘god’ out of the equation.”) but about his Family and Kingdom.  It’s not something I can just open a book and read about; dealing with unrecorded gods (several of whom I once thought were gods with written records and histories, no matter how small an amount of information that was) has that consequence.

This does involve going Over There and learning through experience; some things he can’t explain easily (there’s a language/concept barrier when it comes to Otherworld stuff,) and are simply better being shown to me.  He can tell me stories of his Kingdom and Family, but it’s up to me how these new bits of information impact me.  Some things make my brain hurt, other’s are “oh, so that makes way more sense now!” revelations, with minimum brain breaking required.

The only time I’m really required to be Over There is during holidays.  This isn’t because of any roles my marriage gives me, but simply because my Husband wishes to share more of his world with me.  The holidays don’t really match up with the Wheel of the Year at all, so it’s another leap of faith, to trust his word, and that what I’m hearing is correct.

I don’t think of anything I do on my path as “Work.”  Learning more about my Husband’s Family and Kingdom is more something I do because I love him.  It’s something I want to do because of that love.  Learning more about him *as he is* rather than who I once thought he was, is the best way I can devote myself to him.

My Polytheism (Polytheist Round Table)

This is more me sorting out my own thoughts than anything else.  Jolene started this discussion, and I thought it would be a good springboard to writing down my own thoughts, especially considering how much my path has changed over the past year.

I describe myself as being a polytheist first, a devotional mystic second.

I’ve believed in multiple gods for a long time now.  Even though I’ve only been an actively practicing pagan (though I usually describe myself as a polytheist first if I’m ever asked about religion) for three years now.  Having multiple gods always made more sense to me than one.

That, for me, is what being a polytheist means, simply believing in multiple gods.

After three years as a polytheist, working almost exclusively within one Pantheon, those gods let me go.  It was the god I was closest to who dropped the bomb (about as gently as he could, given the circumstances) that I should stop any spiritual activity for them, and dismantle my shrine.

“This isn’t the place for you,” he said.  There was no added “right now,” no tentative hope of coming back.  He was being blunt; my time with them was finished.

The question was…what now?

My personal practice is now based on a group of deities that are personal to me, I was led to said group by my Husband.

Even though none of them have “canon” names, or any lore that could be found in books, I still refer to them as being gods–because that’s what they call themselves.  If I refer to them as “spirits,” I get a raised eyebrow, and maybe a “you know that’s not what we are” comment.

While my path has changed radically within the past year, the core of it–that my path is based on my otherworldly Family–has not.  The main difference now is that my path is being built up with my Husband’s guidance, rather than anything found in books.

That is my polytheism, it is, at it’s heart, private and personal to me.