Monthly Archives: May 2015

Special Blessed Necklaces: Freyja & Freyr Set

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EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

These necklaces are a very special set for Freyja and Freyr, the divine shining twins of the Vanir, together.

Last time I remade my personal devotional necklaces for the twins (which I will show you in a later post, I promise), I added many new beads to the mix. I ended up with quite a pile of spare beads that had been soaking in Vanic energy from my practice for several years.

Necklaces for Freyja & Freyr The Heart of Gold and the Silver Leaf, piled together in a heap of blessed Vanic beads.

Out of those extra blessed beads I made an additional pair of devotional necklaces for Freyja and Freyr. Since then, they have been kept among my devotional jewelry on my Vanir shrine in my temple, carried to Vanic rituals, placed on numerous altars, and thus blessed by Freyja and Freyr through Their gythias and gothis (including myself, of course) more times…

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Wait… Someone’s Leading This Tradition?

What qualities should a leader in your tradition possess?

Sufficient stability and sanity so as to set a good example, but not so much of either that they’ll realize just what the hell they’re getting into.

It’s hard to say, since this tradition is just me, for the most part, and I’m not sure I have complete faith in the current leadership.

That said, I could list the virtues I’d want myself to have, to feel confident in my own leadership of whoever decides to follow me down this path:

A Strong Relationship With Dionysos: While I wouldn’t require proof of Mystic Woo Powers (and I’m not sure how one would prove it, in any case), I think a working relationship with Himself that involves an active ritual life, a deep understanding of the God and His ways of moving in the world, and the ability to reliably do divination so as to get advice and instructions from Him are all necessary things.

Scholarship: I am not a reconstructionist as such; I’m not looking for someone who can do a dissertation on Dionysos worship in the ancient world. However, I am trying to root my practices and my understanding in what ancient sources I can find. This is a modern practice for a modern Dionysos, but without a strong connection to the past, there’s no continuity.

Hospitality: So much of how I understand the relationship between gods and mortals is rooted in mutual hospitality that I don’t see how one could be a leader in this tradition without also knowing how to be a good host and a good guest. My view of what kind of role to take, when varies (I’ll do a post on hospitality soon), but a leader should be able to put themselves in the role of host to the God, host to the congregation in the God’s name, host to the congregation in their own right, and as a good guest who represents the God wherever they go.

Compassion: This is the worship of the God whose train includes the mad, the lost, and the broken. Being able to relate to the person, and not just their loudest (and possibly worst) qualities, is absolutely required of a leader. Leaders must be able to feel another’s pain and rage and fear, without judging it or taking it on themselves.

Boundaries: A complementary quality to both Hospitality and Compassion, a leader must be able to set boundaries for the good of the group and the good of the individuals in that group–including themself! A leader who allows themself to be swept up to such a degree that they can no longer differentiate between their own mood and the needs of the group or its members is helping no one.

This is especially important for a Dionysian. While there is a place for losing onself to passion, someone has to hold the space for others to do this. Someone has to minimize the risk so that others can let themselves go. Hopefully, there will be others who can do this, so no poor soul is stuck being the designated driver every time.

A Sense of Group Dynamics: Of the many bits of advice that Starhawk wrote into her first books, the bits that I think have aged the best are the ones which speak to a leading witch as someone who has to keep an eye on the relationships of the members of a group to each other. It’s easy to get caught up in the passion and the mysticism, but it’s even easier to not pay attention to seemingly mundane aspects of the group dynamic that can be as dangerous to the congregation as any malevolent spirit.

Logistic Fu: Scheduling isn’t easy. Neither is making sure there’s enough food and wine for everyone, making sure people who need rides have them, making sure that the ritual site is accessible to everyone, and the hundred other things that require someone to make a plan and see it carried out. While I’m not saying that a leader has to do all this themself (we’re all mad enough already), they at least have to make sure someone competent is doing it.

There are no doubt other qualities a leader should have. Some of them I probably take for granted, and so haven’t thought to list. Others I may have yet to learn. It’s an ongoing process.

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


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EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

9th Strip! Lon’s wit often helps me calm down when I’m angry. 🙂

#FirstOtherworldProblems

#FirstOtherworldProblems Pagan Shops My sister wants me to help him, but how do you argue theology with a 5 year old?

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The To-Do List From… Somewhere

What devotional goals have you set for yourself?

Sadly, I’m much better at setting goals than at achieving them. This blog is a good example; I set myself a goal of posting something every Tuesday and Thursday, but, well…

I have five shrines set up, one for each of my main devotional relationships. The largest and most elaborate belongs to Dionysos, as one might expect. The others are for the God and Goddess of my initiatory line of Central Valley Wicca, the Vanir (primarily Freyja), Ghede, and Melek Ta’us. I feel that each of them deserves at least a brief daily prayer, just to keep the connection open.

For Dionysos, I want to devise a calendar of observances of the major events of His life, as related in His myths, timed to the local (Northern California) growing year for wine grapes. Also, I have held quarterly devotional parties for Him, and I want to continue that, though I may change the character of some of them. Further, I have a dream of starting a monthly devotional group, possibly leading to mystery initiations.

For the God and Goddess (they have proper names, but those are oathbound secrets), I’d like to have a more extensive prayer for full moons, and observances of the stations of the Wheel of the Year with my family–perhaps as small dinner parties.

Freyja has said she has things to teach me, so figuring out what those are and how to go about learning them is a priority for working with the Vanir. Of course, it’s rude to ignore what’s important to Her outside that learning, so I suppose there will have to be added prayers for her brother and parents, at least. I’m already a part-time attendee at our local Vanatru group.

The Ghede are a family of spirits, something akin to ascended ancestors, but more than that. My particular Ghede isn’t completely known to me. Ghede has many paths and many names, and the differences are important. I need to solidify that contact, and get better acquainted with him, before I can tell where to go with that devotion.

Melek Ta’us and I have an uneven relationship. We don’t always get along, and I have often regarded his behavior as unfair or at least callous. But He’s the Angel of tough love, the one who pushes boundaries and tests limits. Part drill sergeant, part drag queen. I’m coming to appreciate what He’s tried to teach me more, and I’m seeing that, when He’s used me to get to others, He did so in a way that made me larger. I want to study what I can of Yezidi practices pertaining to him, to respect his origins in a far land and a threatened culture.

You know, all this looks much more ambitious when it’s all written down in one place. The work I want to do for Dionysos alone would be enough for any sane devotee. However, he’s the Mad God, so I stagger on…

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


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