Category Archives: Local Polytheism

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.  :)

Advertisements

Deipnon Purification Ritual (Dec. 29, 2016)

42 minutes of me praying silently for purification from Apollon, on behalf of myself and a few other individuals, while at the shrine. One candle is lit for each person. About halfway through I light some bay leaves in a rather spectacular fire.

Hail Paian! Hail Pythios! Hail Phoibos!

First Treasury Shrine of Apollon!

Hello, dear readers!  I have finally reached a level of completion on my secret project that allows me to share it with you all!  For what feels like forever, I have wanted and worked toward opening a shrine for Apollon that would be accessible to my community.  Well, I have at last been blessed enough to be able to see that dream become reality!

The First Treasury Shrine of Apollon website is up and running!  It’s kind of bare-bones at the moment, because I just really could not wait any longer to share it with you.  As of now, my Shrine Keeping Services page is up, along with some others, including the Virtual Guestbook, for visitors to leave written offerings to Apollon that I will read aloud before His Shrine.

In a few months, the shrine will be complete enough for me to open to the local public in Corpus Christi, Texas, for veneration, which is the most exciting part for me, as Shrine Keeper.  Facilitating others’ worship of Apollon is all I have ever wanted to do, and now I am able. I have been truly blessed beyond measure, and am so excited to bring my Lord’s shrine into fruition.

Thank you all for your support and encouragement!

Hail Phoibos!

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.

Prayer to Hermes, for Secret Plots

Hermes

Hermes, Dear Hermes, I call to You.  You have known me for many years, and I have offered You love, wine, and much in-between.  You know the depth of my devotion, and the lengths to which I have gone to secure the favor of the Deathless Gods.  Hear me now, if it pleases You, and be a mover of obstacles in my path.

Hermes, Who aids in sly endeavors, I seek Your divine assistance.  If this venture pleases You, Swift One, I ask that You direct my action to its best outcome.

Hermes, God pulling the strings of human communication, please allow all my efforts and all my words to sway those who would otherwise obstruct me.

Hermes of the Ways, God of all the roads, please clear this path for me as I work to bring reverence to You, and to the other Deathless Gods.

Hermes, who is skilled in many clandestine arts, please grant me the abilities needed to weave this plan into existence.

Hermes, Magnificent Son of Zeus and Maia, please place Your divine hand over me, and shield me from the sight of the uninspired.

To You, Hermes, do I give this offering, a symbol of my passion and my commitment.  If it pleases You, do allow my plans to flower, to seed, and to be planted in many fertile gardens.

Blessed Hermes, Who is known throughout the world, Whose name inspires the never-ending search for knowledge and truth, He Who does not reject those who are sincere– please hear me this day, and please work with me to expand the reach of High Olympos, that all who seek the Deathless Ones will find a place just for them.

Hail Hermes!  Hail the God of Travelers!  And may I, and others, always honor the sacred journey!