Given that I’m in a brand new situation, I haven’t been making my daily offerings for about two weeks.
In my old place of residence, if I missed a couple of days weird shit would start happening. Stuff would fall over when there were no cats in the room, items would get displaced, all the sort of things people blame on poltergeists and fairies (given that I’m actually working with the dead and nature spirits, that’s likely not too far off). A spiritual pressure that others remarked on would build up, and would dissipate when I got back into the swing of things.
The Kindred have been patient with me while I re-establish my space and start to heal and remake myself, but today that ended. I had planned on attending what I call “Polish Beltaine” which is Good Friday in Buffalo’s Broadway Market (a tradition for myself and my friend Jim) and then go with him to a Good Friday service at St. John’s Grace (I’m not Christian, but he offered to come to my offering rite for Freyja tonight, so I figured fair is fair).
I got violently ill. I hadn’t eaten anything untoward, and other than a bit of anxiety had no excuses. I felt very firmly the message: if you’re going to go to worship at someone else’s temple before getting right with your own Kindred your priorities are not in order. So I spent much of the morning and early afternoon cleaning and prepping and unpacking my sacred space, meditating and charging and establishing my temple, and making a grand round of offerings to my Matron(s?), my Ancestors, the spirits of this place and the ones that I pass through, and the many Gods who have touched my life. After sitting in silence in temple space for a while when all that was done, the sick passed from me and a blessed calm overtook me.
There has been a lot of discussion of a God-centered versus community-centered life in the Heathen and Pagan communities of late. I feel that I understand where most are coming from on both sides of the discussion. Regarding that, I’d like to say this: my Gods and Spirits are part of my community. They interact with me daily, and shape my life just as those living people (two-footed, four-footed, and otherwise) do, and I feel that through my interactions with them I do the same.
Seeing and hearing the Dead, the Spirits, and the Gods and honoring and making and keeping good relationships with them helps to make our whole world our community. When we reach out spiritually like this we reach beyond the mere material of here and now and acknowledge and engage the spiritual aspects of all the things that we merely see the surface of with our eyes.
Honoring the Dead reminds us of our existence beyond the flesh, and that death does not end our relationship with our loved ones and those who shape our lives.
Honoring the Nature Spirits reminds us of the sanctity of the world that we inhabit and the intrinsic value of nature and physical matter.
Honoring the Gods reminds us of the transcendent nature of our reality and how small we are in comparison to it – and that we are not alone.
Honoring our living relatives keeps us grounded in the flesh and the world that we inhabit so thoroughly in this incarnation and reminds us of our connection to other living beings.
By honoring our connections to all beings we can find our place for ourselves in this world again, just as I am doing in this city, the city of my birth, my place of power where I come to heal and be renewed.
(Well, I did say recently that I wanted more altar space! With pussy willows from the Broadway Market to bring a touch of spring to things).
Update: The Freyjasblot went swimmingly well. The Lady feasted upon dark salted chocolate and raspberry lambic and was given amber for her glimmering hoard and scented with amber incense. Jim and I have a lot to thank her for. When we called to her, one of the cats leapt up on the altar, and when we asked if the offerings were good she told us Fehu. Hail to the Lady!