Gratitude Project 2017, Day 17 – Cybele

I have a great love for Cybele, the Mountain Mother.  And although most of my interactions with Her are within the context of Her syncretic form with Rhea, this post is dedicated to Her as Her separate self.

It is hard for me pinpoint the exact time that Cybele entered my life. Was it before I met Dionysos?  Was it after?  I do not know.  But They, Cybele and Dionysos, were like two rivers from the same source in my life.  He would take me to Her, and we would dance in Her rites, blissful and ecstatic.  I was so happy when I was with Her.  All of my troubles melted away.  She was the balm that soothed me, and the fire that roiled in my gut.  I loved Her so.  But then Another came into my life, and I was faced with the presence of the truest love of all.

Apollon swept in then, and everything changed.  For a while, maybe a year, I would still spend much of my time with Cybele and Dionysos, but She could tell that I was different, even if I couldn’t face it myself. But I couldn’t walk away from Her.  I couldn’t let go.  I felt as if I were somehow dishonoring Her as my thoughts would inevitably drift toward Apollon. Finally, She sat me down and spoke.  She talked of how far I’d come and how much I had left to learn.  She told me that I would always be welcome to visit Her whenever I wanted.  And then, She told me to follow my heart, wherever it dared to take me.  So, I followed Apollon.

Cybele’s blessing ended that last bit of doubt and worry in my heart. She set me on this path, and freed my mind to accept Apollon, fully and truly.  I will always adore Her, and always will I be grateful for Her foresight.

Hail Cybele!

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Gratitude Project 2017, Day 16 – Ares

Ares receives a lot of respect and devotion in my household.  In addition to my own personal devotion, Ares receives the devotion of my warrior spirits, the Waiting Ones.  They look to Him as their example, and their inspiration.  Part of my duty to them, is to facilitate their worship of Him.

For my spirits, I serve as a priestess of Ares– but only for them, in the rites specific to them.  Having me, their Queen, to serve in this capacity helps to solidify their bond with me, as well.  In helping them to reach their God, I become even more precious to them, which makes them more valuable to me in their fervency and instinct to protect.  It’s all very symbiotic.

As I serve Ares for them, I also learn much about the minds of soldiers, and how to make decisions concerning them.  These things do not come naturally to me, and I am so glad to have Ares’ assistance.  It isn’t just in the devotional aspect that He helps me to understand.  We talk at other times, as well.

Ares has an opinion about everything, let me tell you.  He is the king of unsolicited advice.  A lot of the time, He’s spot on in His analysis. Sometimes, it’s just annoying.  Of course, I always listen, because I respect Him, and I know He has my best interest in mind.  He is very wise, but I think much of the time His wisdom is underestimated.

It makes me glad to see more people honoring Him and appreciating Him, because He is an amazing God, and He deserves it all.  For all of the ways that He has shaped me, my family, and my Court, I am grateful.  For the strength that I’ve gained through my association with Him, I am grateful. For His advice, solicited or not, I am grateful.  For Ares, God of battle-lust and tactics, He who inspires courage, I am grateful.

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Gratitude Project 2017, Day 15 – Hestia

Blessed Hestia, Keeper of the Hearth, Great Goddess who serves for the good of all life.  Beautiful Goddess most demure and serene in Your countenance, thank You for what You have taught me over these years.

How to be the best for my family, and how to do what is necessary. How to love without expectation, and how to give with humility and grace.  You see the truth of all, for You are present in all the fires of the world.

You reside in those that warm our bodies, and in those that cook our meals.  You reside in the candlelight that illuminates our homes, and the campfires around which we tell our tales.  You are the soul of living flame, and You are always with us.

I have given praise to You in my darkest days, and in my brightest.  You have watched over us in times of scarcity and plenty.  You are the first and the last, receiving our offerings graciously and with joy.  We thank You, Hestia, and we are grateful for Your sacrifice.

O, Virgin, please continue to share with us Your strength and clarity. Keep us in Your thoughts as we move through this world.  And especially, allow me to burn with the passion of service toward the ones I love.  Goddess, grant us these things, and we will be steadfast in our reverence of You, as we have been these many years.  For we are grateful to You, Twice Born, Eldest and Youngest of the Gods.

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Gratitude Project 2017, Day 14 – Odin

Everyone, I’m in a very bad place right now.  I’ve been watching the news all day, and my social media feeds are full of the recent events and tragedies in Virginia.  And then I got the scare of my life, having heard that another white supremicist rally was being planned for a university in Texas.  Although it wasn’t going to be near to my city, there is a notable KKK and Nazi presence in my city, and the surrounding towns.  Even though the rally was ultimately cancelled, the very cancellation will only anger and embolden these far-right terrorists.

It won’t be safe for me and my children to be seen in public, so we won’t be going anywhere unless it is absolutely necessary, for the foreseeable future.  I hope I’m wrong, but I’m not taking any chances.

Many of these terrorists like to invoke the name of Odin, as if the All-Father were one to condone their hatred and xenophobia.  But Odin values and covets all the world’s knowledge, from the many peoples and cultures He has encountered.  My relationship with Odin is between the two of us, but I’ll say this– He has never made me feel unwelcome to learn from Him, because I lack a certain genetic heritage.  It is my understanding that all Gods call whom They will, including the Heathen Gods.

This business of declaring oneself superior, due to arbitrary and minuscule genetic differences, will only lead to the downfall of these terrorists, and all who support them, especially if they continue to slander Odin and other Gods in the process.  What do they think is going to happen, I wonder, when the Powers they invoke actually show up?  It’s not likely to be pretty, but it will be just.  And that is why tonight, and every night, I am grateful for Odin.

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Gratitude Project 2017, Day 13 – Hermes

You know who is absolutely amazing and doesn’t get enough credit for the great things that have happened to me?  The God who is consistently the most present force in my life, besides Apollon?  The God who has always given me the best advice, whose advice I always take, even when I don’t want to?  The God who has been there to watch over me and mine during the long drives on Texas and Colorado roads? The God whose business acumen keeps me in this game, doing what I love, when it’s hard, when it seems like I’ll never succeed?

Hermes.

You know, I am not wealthy, or well off, or middle class.  I’m poor.  I barely scrape by financially, but I always do scrape by.  Much of this is due entirely to the teachings of Hermes.  I do what I have to do to survive, and I make no apologies.  I also help all those I can help, when I have the means.  Be cutthroat– and be generous.  This is what Hermes tells me. This philosophy sees that my children always have a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, and food in their bellies.  And honestly, that is all I’m asking for in this life.  Everything else I have– my business, shrine space for Apollon– these are gifts from the Theoi, and I cherish them in my reverence for the Gods.

Hermes is very much a Brother to me, if we were to put our relationship into familial terms.  But He’s not the overbearing type of Brother that Apollon can be.  Hermes is very chill, very humorous when we’re together. Of course, He can and does get His point across with strong words when He has to.  I am notoriously stubborn and don’t like to do what I’m told. But, as I said before, I listen to Hermes, because He’s never been wrong when it came to the best way to accomplish a goal, or how to approach a situation.

So, for Hermes, I am grateful.  I am grateful for the way He weaves His words, and persuades me without being harsh.  I am grateful for the markers He places in the roads ahead of me, steering me down the correct paths.  I am grateful for His kindness, His humor, and His company.  And most of all, I am grateful for His commitment to our bond, because through it, I am able to handle my business and provide for my children.

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