Honoring the Spirits of Here

On the one hand, I think it’s a good idea to honor the deities of the place one lives. Otherwise, it would be like living in someone’s home, eating their food, using their bandwidth, but not talking to them or helping with the rent.

On the other… I live in America. My first (European) ancestors came here almost 300 years ago, but they settled on the other side of the country from where I am. Most of my family’s dead are buried in Kentucky and Tennessee. And, they were Christians, a faith also not native to this land.

So, do I try to find a way to worship the gods of the Natives those ancestors displaced? Or the gods of the Africans they enslaved? Or the gods of the Natives who were displaced by the Europeans who settled the state I now live in?

It’s a mess, no doubt.

What I actually do is this: I make a practice of honoring the spirits of the land where I live, of the San Francisco Bay, of the Pacific coast. I honor the ancestors not only of my blood, but of all those who lived here before me, and left this world to me. To all these dead, I owe many debts. To preserve what they did that was good, and to fix what they did that was not. And I pay these debts to posterity.

How could I not? If I lived in their domains without giving them honor, would that not make me a thief?

About Ashley Sarver

Ashley Sarver is a queer, nonbinary trans femme, polytheist, gamer, and disability caregiver living in the San Francisco Bay Area. View all posts by Ashley Sarver

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