Category Archives: Land and Spirits

An Interesting Way to Become Acquainted with City Spirits

[Obviously, the above photo isn’t of my neighborhood, nor is it even my photograph, but it is one of my favorite places in all of the city.]

So, ever since I moved back to this city, I’ve kind of been stuck without transportation in a pretty rough neighborhood.  Like, most of the time it’s fine.  People don’t bother me, and I don’t bother them.  As long as the sun is out, the most dangerous thing I have to deal with is the occasional small pack of stray dogs wandering around looking for food, water, or shelter.  I try to leave out some water for them, at least whenever I can, but I’ve digressed.  The point is that the neighborhood is rough enough for me to not take a whole lot of time walking around, getting to know the environment first hand.

I’m not new to this city.  I’ve been here for a long time (despite short stints in other places), but just not on this side of town.  This area is a mystery in many ways.  I’ve gotten tapped by the local Land spirit, who seems interested in getting to know me (the feeling is mutual), but it’s hard to do that when you can’t reasonably expect to beat the pavement just to get a lay of the land.

It’s so important that it’s been eating at me, because I haven’t been able to do it.  While I said most of the time the neighborhood is safe enough in the daytime, I have a two year old that would have to come with me everywhere I go, and I just do not see it as being safe enough for that.  If it were just me, I’d probably do it.  But not with my son in tow.

So, now what?  Now what do I do?  How can I reasonably fulfill this directive from the Land, to get to know the land?  Well, there’s an unconventional way, if you’re willing to hear me out, and perhaps even try it.  It’s something I’ve been experimenting with, and so far it’s been quite helpful in helping me get used to the neighborhood, as well as its landmarks.  But it is only the first step.

To begin, open your internet browser and open up Google Maps.  Type in your address and switch to street view.  Now look.  You can see your street, turn 360 degrees, and go off in any direction you want, following the roads of course.  Depending on how recent the last Google drive by was, the area may or may not be completely current, but it should be enough to get you started.

Spend a few days using the Google street view to tour your neighborhood and surrounding areas.  If you have the time and the funds, you might also try riding the neighborhood buses around, as that is another good way to get your bearings without having to walk around.  I know there are lots of reasons why a person might not be able to walk their neighborhood regularly or at all.  Whatever your reasons, you should feel able to complete your spiritual obligations without doing anything that may likely do more harm than good.

So, after you’ve had sufficient time to become acquainted with the layout of the area, next comes the reaching out to the land.

This can happen in whatever ways you see fit, in accordance with your practice and spirits.  What I do, is pick a nice quiet night when everyone else in the house is asleep, and I sit silently, making offerings to the Land and accompanying spirits and inviting them to meet.  I then reach out to the land around me, and I follow it where it wants to lead, through visualization, made easier by my study of the maps, which is still ongoing.  I’d like to explore other areas of the city this way, as well.

Now, I should note here that I didn’t just jump right into following the spirit around on the first night.  The very first night is probably best for introductions.  It’s best to very gradually build up your rapport with the Land spirits, so I recommend trying this or something similar once a week for a few months, just gradually expanding your awareness as you and the Land become more familiar with one another.  Eventually, your relationship should develop as you all see fit.  Just keep communicating.  That is by far the best tool at your disposal.

Also, it’s such a simple way to solve this problem that I’d be really surprised if I were the first one to try this.  If you’ve already been doing this, or something similar with a different map site, I’d love to know how you found your results.  :)

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My Tempest (Devotional Acrostic Challenge)

Week 8 prompt – Daemons, Familiars, Egregores

[For Tempest, the spirit of my violin.]

Movement after movement, we have
Yearned for our souls’
Twisted and amorous
Entanglement; we are a
Monument to that moment in time;
Pressed in frenzy, swirling in musical
Ecstasy, my Love; ours is the
Song of bittersweet longing,
Thrust into completeness, as the notes fade away

The Land of Two Rivers, and Beyond

Blood and rain.  Fish and rivers, and the sea.  Bobcats and javelinas.   Nereids and hamadryads.  Mesquite wood and fire ants.  Feral cats and grackles.  Sunshine and sea winds.  Peaches and figs, and cicadas. Dead soldiers and Spanish missions.  Sand dollars and jellyfish.  Live oaks and palm trees.  Foxes and road runners, and rattlesnakes.

These are the jewels of my path, local to South Texas.  This is my home, and these are my allies.

My path is a local one, where I concentrate on the needs of the lives lived around me.  When I offer to the sea, it is on behalf of the humans here who know not the price for the bounty they take.  It is to give thanks, and to celebrate the creatures and spirits who dwell here, those who make it possible for us to make a living here.

When I raise my arms to the Theoi it is in acknowledgment of the great tapestry They have woven around me; to celebrate Them and to honor Them, and to remind myself of all They hold dear.  This place is alive.  I am alive.  And we are paired to live our lives together.

When I pour wine and blood onto the Earth, it is so the grain and corn will thrive.  When I go to pick cotton out of its rugged husk, it is to feel what my ancestors felt, and to leave bits of myself in the field so they are not alone, and not forgotten.  When I pick flowers for offerings, it is to remind myself of the beautiful things which were plucked, in their ripeness and in their prime, all for the sake of a world gone by.

Those times that I stood upon the widow’s walk of the white mansion, it was to tell the spirits of my people, “I see you.  I remember you.  The masters are gone, and I am here.”

And when I give milk, now even the milk of my own body, it is to assure the Land that I will nourish it, as it nourishes me and mine.  Because I am the Land.  I am the Rivers.  I am the Sea and the Wind.

When I leave seed for the grackles, I know they are my brothers.  When I leave meat for the night creatures, I know they are my sisters.  When I fill the hummingbird feeders, and see the shrimp plants bloom, I know that my family is welcomed.  We are the spirits of the Land, and we rely on one another.

When I wade in the salt water, I know that I am purified.  And when I call to the Gods, I know that They are listening.  Poseidon.  Amphitrite.  Apollon.  Ares.  Zeus.  And Others still.  They hear me.  They know me.  They favor me and mine.

And when I take my children to greet Them upon the sparkling sea water, I feel Their many blessings, and Their encouragement, as surely as I feel the wind blow.  As long as we do our part to honor the Gods, the spirits, the Land, the Rivers, the Sea and the Wind, They will do Their part to keep us safe and fed.  Together, we are the reciprocal bond.  We are kharis.  We are life.  We are this world.

We are the Land of Two Rivers, and beyond.

The Allies

Originally written and published October 20, 2013.  Reposting because the Land told me to.  Howdy, Pagan Cowboy.


Pagan Cowboy, who are you?
I’ve been dreaming of you, you know.
Why are you hiding?
This land was made for you, me, and all the others.
For this is the Land of Allies.

Pagan Cowboy, you are needed.
Friendship is a stern Mother.
You know it’s true.
Yet, must we be diplomatic.
For we are the children of the Allies.

Pagan Cowboy, don’t forget your pact with the Land.
Working, and driving the herds.
A deep-rooted life, and all you ever dreamed.
But, the expectation of Friendship stands, so…
Stop hiding, Pagan Cowboy, and join your Allies.

Water, II

glacier

Ocean, lake, aquifer, spring

Cloud, swamp, tundra, stream

Bog, pond, hail, sea

Rain, glacier, tributary

dew drop

Rivers cutting through the land

Dew drops forming on desert sands

Fog rolling down the hills

Bayou conceals what often kills

bayou

Water gives and Water takes

Water does not discriminate

Though out of Water life began

One well-placed comet could be its end

comet

[Images are not mine]