Odin, ADF, My Schedule, Intuition

Odin has been a definite presence in my life of late.  I feel drawn to him.  I am hesitant delve deeply into a relationship with him because I know that he asks a great deal from his followers.  I want to let go and immerse myself.  My kemetic gods are supportive, but they also want me to be careful.  Djehuty doesn’t want me to be completely owned by Odin.  Sekhmet is worried that I will need a lot of healing when I am done working with him.  However, they are still supportive of my interest and wish me the best.  I am still kemetic, but I am also now exploring heathenry.  I prefer to honor the gods in their own ways.  I know that I am supposed to learn independence from the heathen gods.  I also know that goal probably involves some painful lessons.  As someone who doesn’t like pain, I’ve been avoiding asking for lessons.  However, it is time to move forward.  I want to move forward.

I went to a day long ADF festival in Topeka, Kansas, last Saturday.  The head of my local grove was ordained as official clergy.  The grounds were gorgeous with blooming tulips and a large lake.  There was a discussion on theology, a discussion on mindfulness, and a panel by the heads of different groves.  It reminded me how much I love festivals and how much I can learn from ADF.  I want to finish the initial self study program for ADF so that I can take advantage of other classes.  It was very motivating to see all the hard work of my grove leader pay off in her ordination.  I don’t think I am meant to be ADF clergy, but I do feel that moving forward in the organization would help me grow overall.

My schedule is busy these days.  I’m not complaining.  I enjoy having so many religious functions to attend.  I attend an educational session with the Order of the Red Grail on the first Saturday in April.  Then next Saturday was the ADF festival.  This Saturday is a private blot and sumbel that I’ve been invited to attend.  The following Saturday is our local grove’s Beltane ritual.  It is good for me to get out and participate.  Hopefully it will help me to make new friends and break down some of the walls that I’ve built around myself.  It is also good to see how different organizations are structured and run.  If I do decide to try to start a local kemetic group, I will need all of the information that I can get about the different ways to set up and run an organization.

I haven’t spent much time at my shrines or altar recently.  I’ve been worried that if I honor one god or pantheon then the other gods will be upset.  It is a silly worry.  My gods have been supportive of my differing interests.  I need to get back into the habit of a daily routine.  I miss it.  I still talk to my gods on a daily basis, but it is not the same as spending time in shrine.  I’m starting to get back into doing divination for myself.  It has always been my way of communicating with the gods, but I’ve felt unequal to it lately.  I’ve been very dependent on other people’s divination.  Their divination has been wonderful and enlightening, but I need to renew my faith in myself.  I need to trust my intuition.  It has carried me this far.  Along with the gods, it will take me to my goals.

Spring Equinox, Not Being Social, and Stagnation

On Saturday, I celebrated the Spring Equinox in a public ADF ritual.  We wrote a Vedic ritual honoring Savitr and Pusan, two solar deities.  Our grove likes to celebrate different pantheons in our public rituals to be more inclusive.  Vedism was the religion that preceded Hinduism.  Although some of the deities are shared between the two, there are a number of differences.  This article on the ADF website talks about Vedism for those interested.  All told, the ritual went off well despite a few minor issues.  It was a bit cold and windy outside.  The candles wouldn’t stay lit.  We had three adorable children (the daughters and son of our treasurer) help with the offerings.  Nothing spilled and nothing broke.  There were a few rather long pauses in certain points, but as I am always in a rush, it is good practice for my patience.

I did notice that my desire to be sociable seems to be regressing a bit.  At the times when it hit me that it would be good to introduce myself to new people, I refrained.  I don’t know how I expect to be any sort of community leader if I can’t interact well with people whom I don’t yet know.  That is something which I will have to work hard on this year.  I can blame it on still coming out of my mixed episode and feeling vulnerable, but these are things that I will have to continuously overcome, so blaming does nothing.

I also have to fight through the not doing that comes out of fearing of “doing it wrong.”  I am not a reconstructionist, though I may be recon-inspired.  The gods would prefer that I try something that may or may not be exactly correct as opposed to doing nothing out of fear of messing up.  I have started stagnating and have been having trouble getting a daily practice back up and going.  Learning about things is good, but it does not replace doing.  Part of religion is to practice it.  Even if all I can do is light a stick of incense and offer it up to the gods, that is what I need to do.  I really need to get past this fear that comes from comparing my practice to others.  It benefits no one.

Enjoying a Sumbel and Still Feeling Outside the Circle

Last night I participated in my first local sumbel.  I partook of the apple juice and not the mead (maybe next time!), and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  It was a public sumbel put on by Nebraskan Heathens United, and around 20 people attended.  A sumbel is a heathen tradition where you toast the gods, the ancestors, and make boasts.  Oaths can also be made at sumbels.  The sumbel was preceded by a ritual, or blot as it is called.  It was an hour away, but it was definitely worth the drive.

My kemetic gods have been encouraging me to work with the heathen gods to learn some self-sufficiency.  They also want me to find a community.  I thought perhaps the heathen community might be what I was looking for.  However, I will always be the kemetic that practices heathenry.  Although the group is very helpful and open, I don’t foresee ever being invited to their private rituals.  Perhaps it will change in the future, when I have more practice under my belt.  Perhaps not.  I am glad that I have them as a community of friends, but I feel that I will always be an outsider.  Especially since I don’t know if I will be working with the heathen gods temporarily or always.  I respect their right to keep their private rituals private, and would never want to intrude.

As much as my gods seem to want me to have a local community around me, perhaps it is just not in my cards to be part of a group in the way that I desire.  I am part of the Prairie Shadow Grove and ADF, but even there my kemeticism separates me from the group.  I have found a fantastic group of kemetics online, so at least I feel part of that community,  even if it isn’t local.  I’m not the best at promoting myself.  I tend to be a bit standoffish.  My bipolar symptoms have been acting up more recently, so I have also put up protective shields on that count.  I have a few close friends in each of the groups, perhaps it should not be as important to be close to the group itself.

Kemetic Orthodoxy, Druidry, and Muddling Through

I keep going back and forth about going through the Rite of Parent Divination with Kemetic Orthodoxy.  I think to not do it is to choose the harder path (not necessarily better), but if I’m wavering this much then I’m not ready.  Perhaps I will do it in the future.  If I don’t do it now, then I probably need to do some shadow work.  It’s not my favorite option, but there is definitely some negative thinking that I need to eradicate.

I’ve felt a strong draw back to Sekhmet recently.  Djehuty is always there, but Sekhmet is more like a mother figure for me.  Perhaps I need to focus back on those relationships.  I really don’t know.  I guess no one really does.  There is also the exploring of the relationship with Ra for which I haven’t done much.  I have been doing the Kemetic Orthodoxy Rite of senut most days, and that has helped me greatly.

I also feel like I need to spend more time getting to know my akhu better.  I put together a little shrine, but it doesn’t look like much.  I need to set up a routine to honor them.  I am going to get a little book to write down the names of ancestors that I know and leave it on the shrine.  I would also like to get a bigger statue of Anup for it.  Right now I just have a charm there.  Perhaps I can come up with a weekly rite.  I’ve been leaving rum on the akhu shrine and just letting it evaporate.  I might add a glass of water.  I would like to establish a ritual with some routine.  Daily would probably be too much, but perhaps weekly would work.

I want to bring my druidry into my home practice more.  I’m moving around altars, and looking for a good place to put the druidic one.  I’m exploring heathenry more because I think the Norse hearth culture will be my center for ADF.  I’m trying to re-establish my relationship with Loki and get to know Odin better.  I’d like to come up with something simple that I can do for them daily.  I’m still looking into that.  It’s odd, I feel more attracted to the Jotun, yet I still feel like Odin can help me get to where I want to go spiritually.

Basically I need to work on trusting myself and my intuition more.  I also need to work on my divination techniques.  It is still what I use most of the time to communicate with the Gods.  I also need to work on bringing my Gods back into my everyday life, talking to them throughout the day.  I love ritual, but I also need this more mundane connection.  I guess I’ll see where my path takes me.

Imbolc 2015

Last night was our ADF Imbolc ritual in Lincoln.  We celebrated the Roman gods.  The ADF ceremony drew inspiration from Februalia.  Februus, Janus (the gatekeeper), and Tellus Mater, the Earth Mother.  I was inducted as the Pursewarden/Treasurer.  Our made me a stole with an embroidered fire, well, and tree on one side, and corn, coins, and a bull on the other.  It is dark green and beautiful.  The leader of our proto-grove gave me an ancient Roman coin (c. 350 CE).

My induction oath:

“I hereby swear to uphold the worship of the Kindreds, to uphold my duties to our Grove, and to uphold my duties to Ar n’Draiocht Fein to the best of my abilities.”

I need to get a list of the duties again so I can stay on top of them.  The Kindreds consist of the Gods, the land spirits, and my ancestors, so some of that is echoed in my kemetic practice.  I want to expand my practice to include my ancestors and the land spirits more.  This is good motivation.

At the ritual, I encountered a woman whom I had met before and whom I greatly respect.  She is a heathen who does spirit work, including a lot of work with Hel.  We have begun communicating, and I hope that she will help me on my path.

On a different note, I have begun to learn hieroglyphic writing as an offering for Djehuty.  I am focusing on the reading and writing aspect, not the pronunciation.  I actually seem to be making a little progress.  Maybe I will be able to read some of the inscriptions in Egypt.  I’m hoping to visit there towards the end of 2016.