Monthly Archives: August 2014

Divine Intervention

My lover Ember and I have decided to go through Galina Krasskova’s Devotional Polytheist Meme questions together, over the next several months. We encourage our friends to follow along, and welcome links to other people’s answers in our comments, as well as your thoughts on our answers.

How have the divinities helped you in times of adversity and violent upheaval?

As with most other manifestations of the divine in my life, divine assistance is usually pretty subtle. Sometimes, it’s so subtle that I didn’t notice anything was amiss until I looked back later and saw how things might have gone wrong if not for just the right “coincidence” coming along at exactly the right time. It’s kind of like a parent solving a problem before the kids even know anything’s wrong.

In truth, I rarely ask for help from the gods. There’s a level on which I’m afraid that I’m actually alone in my head, and if I asked for help and it didn’t happen–or at least not in a way I could see–that would be proof that the gods don’t exist. I am a poor polytheist, some days, and the doubts get to me.

I imagine a great rolling of divine eyes, celestial mutterings about how the slow boy never quite gets it. But I digress…

The thing that’s really saved me, more times than I can count, is having a safety net of friends and neighbors. It doesn’t keep me from getting knocked down, but it makes it so much easier to get back up again. Sometimes, I have no idea what I did to bring these folks into my life. I can only imagine that someone is moving things behind the scenes.

Ember’s answer can be found at her blog, Embervoices.

#FirstOtherworldProblems Lottery

And more comics with me in them. Though this may be the last for a while,; she only draws them when the right mood strikes.

EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

The 6th strip is new! Once again, Lon was witty and I had to draw it out:


#FirstOtherworldProblems Lottery The Lottery Egregore is kind of grinchy, actually. It’s not his fault – he’s under a lot of pressure!


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#FirstOtherworldProblems Making a Leader

I’m not in this one, but it’s funny anyway…

EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

The 5th strip, this one with my good friend Dee:


#FirstOtherworldProblems Makings of a Leader Brownies are Leaders Too!

And that’s the last of my current batch, but now I have somewhere to post them when more get made! Whee!


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Help to Protect the Yezidis

In honor of Melek Ta’us, and for justice and peace.

#FirstOtherworldProblems Compliments

Cute? Us? Never!

EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

The 4th strip, a particularly adorable exchange with Lon (which I’ll grant has little to do with Otherworld Problems, or really any problems at all ;} )


#FirstOtherworldProblems Compliments “Well, I think ‘Geek Girl’ covers most of it, if we presume sapiosexuality…”


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Call For Submissions for a Beloved Dead Devotional

Spreading the word…

Foxglove & Firmitas

I said I wasn’t going to start this, and yet here I am anyway…  Doing the Work.

Crossing the River: A Devotional to Our Beloved Dead

Calling for submissions for Crossing the River: A Devotional to Our Beloved Dead, edited by Camilla Laurentine (and possibly others to sign on at a later date). Submissions open August 7th, 2014 and close February 28th, 2015.

The intention of this devotional is to build a source book of modern meditations, hymns, prayers, and other resources for death workers working in our greater community. All Pagan and Polytheist traditions are welcome and encouraged to submit to this project.

Submissions should fall into one of three categories: Vigil of the Dying, For the Recently Deceased, and Funerary Tools. They may include, but are not limited to meditations, poems, hymns, prayers, original retellings of myths, rituals, and scholarly articles with a…

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#FirstOtherworldProblems Freckles

I will admit, my knowledge of data structures is a little fuzzy…

EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

The third strip, also with Lon:


#FirstOtherworldProblems Freckles My whole body is a pensieve.


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#FirstOtherworldProblems Baby Goetia

Another First Otherworld Problems cartoon, based on a conversation between Ember and me.

I’d say it’s not my fault, but kinda it is.

EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

The second strip, again with Lon:


#FirstOtherworldProblems Baby Goetia That still doesn’t explain where the baby Goetia come from…


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Bless It Forward

My lover Ember and I have decided to go through Galina Krasskova’s Devotional Polytheist Meme questions together, over the next several months. We encourage our friends to follow along, and welcome links to other people’s answers in our comments, as well as your thoughts on our answers.

What does your tradition do to increase the power and flow of blessings?

It seems to me that blessings are a large-scale, accumulative, pay-it-forward kind of thing. Blessings aren’t strictly quid-pro-quo; exchange is involved, but in a way that increases subtly as it’s passed along. They flow along the lines of our relationships as individuals and communities with each other and the world around us. As long as those relationships are maintained, the flow is strong.

Blessings flow from the Ancestors, through us, to our posterity. This is necessarily a matter of paying things forward, as however much we may venerate our Ancestors, there are limits to how much we can give them. The rum I pour out and the candles I burn are little things, token gifts. What I really give to the Ancestors is the continuing work of improving the life and world they gave to me. What I really give them is the future.

In giving the future to the Ancestors, I am also giving it to my descendents and all those who come after me. When I remember who I came from, honor them, and accept responsibility for the best and the worst they have left to me, that relationship is strong, and the blessings flow forward.

By offering libation and prayer to Dionysos and other powers and spirits, I am making room for them in my life. They teach me, first and foremost, how to be aware of the blessings already in my life–including their presence–and to feel worthy of these blessings. I can only give of what I know I have, and of that, only what I feel is mine to give. They show me more of what I have, and they assure me that what they give me is mine whether or not my overly-self-critical ego thinks I deserve it. Then, I can give more to those around me.

In giving to the powers, I see that I have more to give than I thought. From me, blessings flow to those in my life, and through them, blessings ripple out into the rest of the world. I am rarely repaid directly or overtly for these blessings, except for the subtle benefit of a world with more blessings in it. But in giving to the powers, I am made more than I was, I am made larger and stronger, and I find I have more to give.

Most of the blessings I give to my community are a form of hospitality. I host devotionals and parties, I give people a place to come when stress or isolation are too much to bear. I connect them with each other. Keeping these relationships strong gives blessings deep, clear channels through which to flow. When I help them strengthen their connections with the gods, more of those blessings go back to them.

Blessings grow when they are shared, and shrink when they are hoarded. Strong relationships with the past and the future, the seen and the unseen, make it easier to share. Everybody wins.

You can see Ember’s answer to this question at her blog, EmberVoices.

#FirstOtherworldProblems Cosmic Elevator Music

I suppose I should share this, as I’m in it…

EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

When Lon and I first got together, I started turning our silly IM transcripts into comics. I still occasionally try to hold onto particularly appropriate conversations for future comics when I have the time, recently branching out into other friends.

I thought you folks might enjoy them. I call it:


#FirstOtherworldProblems Elevator Music “Some of us are trying NOT to fucking LARP our way through this spiritual crisis, Mr. Ancient FamTrad Satanist WerePoodle!”


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