The Balancing of the In-between

When people ask me how I identify my practice or my beliefs, I tend to say polytheist, pagan, animist, and spiritworker, in no particular order. Occasionally I will use the term spiritwalker. I like the flow of it, and for me it reflects the amount of journeywork my practice often includes.

I sometimes hesitate to say that I have to do journeywork to keep myself balanced, but then I stop doing it regularly and everything gets thrown off. I have had difficulty recently getting much done during my journeywork/trancework recently. One of my mentors had to point out that the issue was all of my spirits trying to get my attention at once. It’s happened before. I don’t go over enough for whatever reason, and things get backed up.

When things get backed up, it’s not just an issue of work needing to get done. I have an internal sense of balance that requires me to do journeywork in order to maintain it. My energy, my mundane life, my thinking, it all gets thrown out of whack when I am not regularly visiting my spirits.

Sometimes I think it sounds ridiculous. Sometimes I think it sounds self-aggrandizing. Sometimes I think it sounds delusional. However, it seems to take me getting thrown off kilter to remember that it doesn’t matter what the fuck it sounds like. What matters is that it is how I am currently wired and is necessary for me to function as a healthy adult.

And so, yet again, I find myself pulling my head out of my ass so I can fully reconnect to my spirits and find my center. There is definitely work to be done, but there is also care to be received. They are waiting.

Necklaces

Looking back through my messages, it looks like I contacted Anna Applegate on July 14, 2020, to ask about commissions. I have throughly treasured all of the devotional pieces I have purchased through her store Jackal Moon Designs. That message started a wonderful back and forth email communication where she got indepth about what I wanted and what she found.

I initially asked for a devotional piece for Hades, as I was starting some deep work. I didn’t realize at that time that i would be doing the godspouse route, but that eventually became part of it.

Anna ended up making two very different pieces for me to choose from, and I chose both. One felt very “Love for Hades” and the other was more “Time for Underworld Work.” The first one I wear almost daily, while the second is mostly worn during journeywork or ritual work, though I occasionally wear it out (on accident or on purpose).

Seeing the idea of the necklace develop and grow alongside my new relationship with Hades was fascinating. Seeing it split into two was a beautiful illustration of the fact that though my underworld world was important, His care for me was not based on or dependent on that.

I received the necklaces in early August, months before I formally took vows. Devotional jewelry plays a key part in my spiritual practice, and I greatly appreciate how these two necklaces help my relationship with Hades to grow.

My “Love for Hades” on the left and “Time for Underworld Work” on the right.

Staves

I know I have more godspouse posts to write, but I’m going to interject one concerning one of my ritual tools. My staff has been part of my life for around 5 years. In 2016, Djehuty came through a channeling someone did for me and told me to construct a staff. My initial response was “How the heck am I supposed to do that?” Djehuty was already well established as a core being in my practice, so the fact that he was who came through wasn’t surprising. The part about the staff I simply marked as “interesting but unlikely” and filed away. I think it was later that year when my friend L came across a cottonwood staff and passed it on to me. And thus I acquired a staff.

It didn’t do anything. It just hung out in my space, and I brought it with me when I moved states. I think that last year was perhaps the first time I actually carved into it. It has become a bit of a living journal as I’ve etched symbols, bindrunes and other things to record certain events or connections. I’ve even bitten it (it’s a soft wood) as a form of record keeping. I have fed it and its records with my fluids.

Usually it stands guard behind my bedroom door. A piece of protection and comfort. Other times I will lay it next to me in bed. Falling asleep so near to it provides a different kind of comfort. Last weekend there was a conversation on the Around Grandfather Fire server where people were discussing their staves and showing pictures, and that caused me to re-examine how mine is unique to me.

It is a light colored wood. Much of the initially carving was done with kiddie scissors, so some of the lines are a bit askew, and the spider looks like he might have anywhere from 7-9 legs. But it is very much mine. Significant relationships are etched into. Simple symbols that have so many layers of meaning. Bindrunes that I created as a living record and agreement themselves.

A part of me would like to have a fancy staff, and I might acquire several staves as the years progress, with their own forms of uniqueness. This cottonwood staff, however, will always stand out as my first. The one who unobtrusively entered my life and just kept hanging around until I was finally ready. Not an uncommon theme for me.

A picture of my staff when I took it to visit friends in June 2021.

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