Seasons Turning, and New Beginnings

Well, where to begin?  Apollon has begun His tour of the world before He inevitably retires to Hyperborea for the Winter.  Persephone has begun Her decent into the Underworld.  Winter is on its way, and I have felt the stirrings of the veil between the worlds.  The Departed Ones will soon join us once more, in our Autumn celebrations.

What does this season mean to you?  In years past, even last year, I met this season with anxiety and foreboding.  I was, and am prone to be, stretched too thinly in my attentions at this time of year.  But this time around, I have resolved to be less, fervent, shall we say, and instead more present in my life and in the festivals that I celebrate, as they come.

So, the Aegletia this year will be less performative, and more contemplative. It will be for me a family celebration, as it was always meant to be.  This is my son’s second Aegletia, and he is at a point of forming memories of our time together with Apollon, so this is very important for our household.  It is time for us to be in the spirit of the season, and not outwardly focused.

And I have another reason to feel intensely the turning as it unfolds.  It has been five years since Apollon and I exchanged our marriage vows.  When we did, He did not tell me for how long we were to be joined, but only that I should enjoy each day as it comes, and welcome Him into the whole of my life.  And I have. Earlier this year, however, He told me it was time to renew our vows, this time for another seven years.  I knew this was probably coming; for a least a year I had anticipated it.  And yet, when I was given the news and the time frame, I just sort of… retreated into myself.  I have been putting it off for the better part of the year.  Apollon, patient and understanding that He is, only asked me to find myself before making this commitment.  To be certain that this is what I want for the next seven years. It’s taken time, but I believe I have worked through my apprehension and that I am now ready for the new commitment.

So, on the second day of Aegletia, when the Treasury welcomes our Lord into our hearths and hearts for the duration of the festival, Apollon and I will once again exchange our vows.  New vows this time. Clearer vows.  Deeper, more meaningful vows.  I won’t lie and say that I am not nervous still, but I am definitely no longer stuck, unable to move forward.

And I’m happy.  I usually spend so much time worrying about things– how will I organize the festival, how will I balance my time online with my time with the children, how will I deal with the sheer agony of being separated from Apollon when He has finally left?  Not this time.  Not this year.  This year, I will let myself just be in the season, and in the turning.

Advertisements

Pristine & Primrose Autumn Sale!

EDIT:  I fixed my shop Facebook Page.  Now you really can send a message. Facebook rolls out so many new “improvements” so often, I had no idea you had to manually add the message button to pages now.  Thanks for your patience, dear ones.


Announcing the Pristine & Primrose Autumn Sale!

From now until October 9th, 2017, get 20% OFF all items in stock! PLUS Free Shipping on all domestic U.S. orders of two items or more! (Standard $10.00 shipping applies for single item orders in the U.S.)

International orders totaling $150.00 USD or more will also receive Free Shipping!

The Autumn Sale will be conducted through Facebook only!

Message me at the Pristine & Primrose Facebook Page if interested. Please include the names of the items you wish to purchase, along with your location. You will receive a price quote for your total order within 24 hours. First come, first served. All sales are final.

**All payments must be processed via PayPal’s Friends/Family option only.**

Here is a link to the shop, where you may browse items. Prices provided in all listings are full price. You *will* need to message the Facebook page to receive sale prices. If you purchase directly from the listings, there will be no rebates or refunds.

Autumn Sale ends October 9th, 2017.

Thank you so much for your business! Don’t forget to share, and tell your friends!

https://pristineetprimrose.wordpress.com/

Do Your Worst

© Columbine 2017

Do Your worst, O God who fills me with dread

Produce in me all which moves me to terror

So whole and immense are You

In Your glory and in Your subtlety

In Your fury and in Your glee

My God

My Beloved One, who is like the fire in the rain

The spirit which moves the storm

You have come to me tonight

Not in peace or even in compassion

For You seek a different reaction

Than such presence would induce

This time, You are real in Your depth

And You are full in the maelstrom

Swirling about me all chaotic and untouchable

My God

I am drawn into the burning rain

It sears me and my flesh is peeled back

In horror of this small and dangerous truth

Which You have set before me

Do Your worst, my Love

O Beloved who sends me reeling in agony

Who calls up the darkest parts of me

Who loves them and touches them

And does not recoil from them

My God, do Your worst

And in You I will revel, and rejoice

© Columbine 2017

Not subscribed to my Patreon? Here’s what you’re missing!

Telling and Retelling: The Gift

© Columbine 2017

Prometheus peered sullenly through the clouds which obscured His sight, and that of the other Theoi, from the grim reality of the beasts of the Earth. Below the Blessed Gods, all the animals roamed, each with their respective gifts, to allow them the best chances for survival upon Gaea’s breast.

Each creature had its specialty. There were those which flew through the skies, with their hollow bones and feathered bodies; and there were those that swam beneath the many waters, aided by sleek scales and powerful fins. The beasts which roamed the land were of great variety, many with hooves for running, and others with great claws for climbing or rending flesh from bone. Still many were blessed with fangs sharp as swords.

And then, there was a curious race. A race of beasts which had no such magnificent attributes, save for maybe their intelligence. However, intelligence would not save them from the other beasts, who all had much more formidable gifts…..


Unlock this post at the $20 monthly pledge level to read more!


The $20 monthly pledge level also includes everything you may be missing at the $5 monthly pledge level!


Like these Patreon exclusive posts that WILL NOT appear anywhere else, including my WordPress blog!


An Evocation of Hera
A Hymn to Hekate and Hermes

And coming next week….

The Rage of Demeter


So, please, consider becoming my Patron, and I’ll do my best to create quality works that you will look forward to, each week!

And remember, it’s for a good cause!  And that cause is feeding my children, and keeping a roof over their heads!  Any amount you pledge will be appreciated!

Thank you for your time!

Manifestations: Sacred Embodiment and Possession

In the continuation of my Manifestations series, today I will talk about Sacred Embodiment and Possession.  What are they?  When do they occur?  What are the differences between them?

As always, my explanations are taken directly from my own experience.

Let us begin with Sacred Embodiment.  This is a term I have seen used (and use myself) to describe the phenomenon of devotees taking on various aspects of their most closely honored Deities.  These Divine aspects are integrated into the everyday activities, or personalities of the devotees, over time, after a rapport is formed between t/Them.  This rapport, in many cases, especially with Hellenic Deities, involves reciprocity, or kharis.

An example of this could be a devotee of Apollon who was not previously interested or involved in sport, taking up a physical practice of some sort, such as archery, or running.  Or perhaps a devotee of Aphrodite becoming intrigued by the beautiful scents in oils and perfumes.  These are very simple expressions of Sacred Embodiment, and can happen even when one does not have a very intense relationship with the Deity, or when they are just starting out with Them. When Sacred Embodiment deepens, however, the traits taken on can become even more pronounced within the personality.

Using myself as an example, I have become even more of a perfectionist than I already was, prior to being claimed by Apollon.  It is true that some of His preferences had always been a part of me, but after becoming truly dedicated to Him, I began to change even more to reflect His personality.

For instance, whereas before I could easily begin a new project, like sculpting, without knowing if I would actually, not only finish, but perfect my technique within the first attempt, (and without giving myself a panic attack over it) now I have to push past those extreme tendencies so that I might not be hindered by my desire to create perfectly.  I am human.  I will and do make mistakes, especially when creating art.  Apollon is not human, and He does not make mistakes when creating, from what I have witnessed.  Having these traits of His so entwined within me now, is a major factor in my struggle with anxiety today.

When we become close to our Gods, neither we nor They may be able to fully anticipate the ways in which our personalities may change.  In some ways, we get what we get, and have to learn to live with it.  And it may not always be the most grand and coveted traits that we receive.

When Sacred Embodiment goes deeper still, one may experience a sense of the reality of a God living inside you, taking up residence within your physical body as They might take residence within a cult image.  This is when the Deity wears your skin and sees through your eyes; when They hear through your ears, and prompt you to give Their responses to the world with your own voice.  This is not the same as a full Possession, but is only a few steps away from one.

In this way, the Deity will only superficially receive input concerning the world and your interactions with the world, through your senses.  You may carry on prolonged conversations with the Deity within your mind.  They may express a desire for you to consume certain food or drink, to satisfy a craving They may have.  You could certainly lay out this offering on Their shrine or altar, however, partaking in the offering together, utilizing your body as the means of transference, will often enhance your interconnectedness, as well as boost the reciprocal nature of your relationship.

Another term for this particular depth of Sacred Embodiment, which I have referenced in the past, is Shadowing.  Shadowing can be useful in a number of circumstances, but I find it particularly useful while engaged in divination, especially divination for others, wherein they have requested the advice of a Deity.  No matter which Deity is sought after during the divination, if one is Shadowed by one’s own close Deity, receiving the sought after information will generally be made easier.  Your Deity can be a bridge between you and the Other.

Even while doing spiritual work in this manner, Sacred Embodiment does not usually carry with it the same consequences as those associated with full Possession.  The devotee maintains control of the mind and body, while the Deity is carried in a way that is less intense, though no less profound.

Sacred Embodiment happens within the day to day life and activities of a devotee, in contrast to the ritualistic and occasional nature of Possession.  These two modalities of Divine presence share many attributes, yet one is inherently more taxing– physically, mentally and emotionally, than the other.

During a true Possession, it is not uncommon for the Deity to assume full control over a devotee’s body, utilizing the physical form to perform tasks that a non-Possessed human might find impossible.  To speak in languages unknown to the Possessed individual, or to consume dangerous substances (in some traditions). The voice and speech patterns may also change, as well as the physical mannerisms expressed. A Possessed individual will and should speak and behave as the Deity, for in essence, they have become the Deity, manifest on Earth.

Possession should safely occur within a designated time frame.  If a Possession runs over long, it can have lasting negative effects on the Possessed individual. It is also a good idea to have at least one other person available to maintain order around the Possessed person, and to keep the Deity from engaging in activities that could be disastrous to the body They inhabit (and also to provide adequate aftercare to the recovering host, after the Possession has ended).  A Deity should not consume substances that Their host is allergic to, for instance.  Nor should They engage in sexual activities, unless the Possessed individual has expressly and enthusiastically consented to those specific activities prior to the Possession.

Possession is a potentially dangerous spiritual activity, and is best done with Deities you have a longstanding and amiable relationship with.  Although it is possible to be a host to a Deity you do not know well, I would not recommend it.

I have personally hosted Dionysos, Apollon, Columbia, Aphrodite, and the Goddess of the Wicca (drawing down the moon).  And while I give the advice of having another person present, that has not usually been the case for myself.  I have been fortunate, in that these Deities have been gentle with me– with the exception of Apollon, who is so immense that hosting Him always leaves me in a delicate and agitated state.  I do not host Him, or Anyone else for that matter, often, and when I do, it is at Their request, or due to a spiritual obligation.

Reasons for Possession may include, but not be limited to, the dispensing of Oracles, rituals of xenia (hospitality) to welcome a Deity among a group of followers, celebration of a Deity’s festivals, or a magical working.  All of these reasons are valid, but a Possession should always be approached with caution, taking into account the physical/emotional health and mental state of the potential host, as well as the expectations of both the Deity and the participants. Realistic goals should be set for the ritual, and n/Nobody should be pushed beyond their willingness or ability to perform.

In closing, Sacred Embodiment and Possession are both very useful spiritual processes, to be utilized in the furtherance of specific goals, or as goals in and of themselves.  They both involve an aspect of merger with a Divine Power, and both involve the dispensation of knowledge from Deity to human.  How they differ is within scope, and extreme.

Care should be taken to prepare oneself, or group, for Possession, yet engaging in Sacred Embodiment might only involve a period or prayer or meditation beforehand.  Or not.  In the end, it is up to the devotee to use their best judgement in these matters.