Halloween/Samhain

Today is Halloween. Obviously.

Halloween and Samhain are two of my favorite holidays of the year. But this year…not so much. This October I haven’t had time to think about Halloween or Samhain (more important, in my perspective) at all. I went from working one weekend this month to four, both days (that’s 14-20 hours added to each week, no break), add-on to that your usual life stuff, plus renovating the dining room, planning a party, and making Claire a costume…I mean, right now, as I’m writing this, I’m exhausted. I’m pissed/hurt because C didn’t want to wear the costume I spent precious time and money making. I’m on a bit of a sugar crash….and…well, the thought of a ritual, anything beyond…I don’t know, sitting outside in the dark, seems overwhelming. These aren’t ‘excuses’, yes, this stuff is in my control, but what I’m saying is…I let this month get completely out of control. Seriously. I’m sitting here kind of wondering what the fuck happened.

So I was trying to get in the right headspace to do something when I came across the first few lines in *this* blogpost: I would like to start off by saying that Halloween is NOT the “Witches Holiday”. Halloween is a holiday for little children to get candy, and for Adults to decorate their houses with scary witch and ghost figures. —Steven Day

And then I thought, Duh, Meagan. Just…just, duh. Calm your silly, stressed out, tired ass down. Tomorrow is Samhain. Tomorrow is the Day of the Dead. Tomorrow, not tonight, not when I have to crowbar justonemorething in. It’s not that profound a sentiment, it’s one that I’ve always operated on. Halloween is for kids, Samhain is for spiritual/religious purposes. It’s not either or. It’s not black and white. And your practice, which you love, shouldn’t feel like another weight on your shoulders. Another have-to, another gotta-get-it-done, another check on the to-do list. Blech! Yuck! I’d rather not practice anything than for it to become so rote, so tedious. And really, it’s not. One of my greatest joys, deepest pleasures, is my spiritual practice. To say that one reason October became so out of control is because I largely abandoned it, abandoned the bigger picture, probably isn’t far off the mark.

Tomorrow will be my ritual, tomorrow will be the day that I honor the ancestors and say goodbye to summer (though you wouldn’t know it here…it went from chilly to hot). Tomorrow night will be the night that I sit in stillness and contemplate the Great Silence that is death.

Tonight? Tonight is for looking at the moon in the after trick-or-treat stillness. Tonight is for catching up on Supernatural, washing the hairspray out of my hair, thanking the household spirits for their good work this past month, reading a book…

And drinking a big, Tami Taylor-sized glass of wine.

Blessings on your Halloween night. Dark blessings as your honor your dead tonight and throughout this week.

 

Poly-Theology, Thoughts #1

I’ve always hated the topic of theology. Back in the Christian days I’d try to get into because I felt that I needed to defend my faith. But mostly I wanted to poke my eyes out whenever I heard people debating Hebrew semantics or the literalness of this or that or whatever other topics that theology covers, which is basically everything. Seriously. Being stuck in one of those gotcha! conversations is just the worst.

Still, there is something to be said for having a consistent belief system. Or at least some working parameters. When I first dipped my toe in the vast world of Paganism I had no idea where to go. The most prevalent belief system, at least according to all the books on the shelves, is the Wiccan duo-theistic model. Goddess and God, all divinity aspected in some way under that paradigm. Which is fine, but I always wondered where the Other fit in. The third aspect, the gender-bender, the gray area, the not goddess/god/not wanting to be. I’ve always had a certain niche in my heart for that…facet? or that deity (and right there, you can tell that I’m an eggs-over-medium polytheist, can’t you? Sly dog.)

So, well, what then? For awhile I had (and have) relationships (?) with Brighid, Aphrodite, The Green Man, Hekate and The Morrighan. Some are a bit more involved, some are just passing hellos and thank yous and wows. But it’s quiet a collection. I definitely am not God-spoused or singularly devoted to any of them. And really, I feel like my theology is kind of populated with lots of gods and goddesses. Which I like. I like their stories, prayers and songs.

But…see, I don’t know what to name them. I don’t know what pantheon they are. I’ve read up on several and while some deities resonate, others don’t, then I feel muddled and wish I was a Reconstructionist. Cause Reconstructionists, man, at least they got their pantheon, right? Celtic, Greek, Roman, Norse, whathaveyou.

Grass is greener.

This bothered me. I’m a verbal person and when I wanted to pray to something I didn’t like just addressing the air or Goddess or God. Prayers, petitions, offerings, even just a hello-thankyou fell flat when I did that.

So, I got an idea. From a book. Because that’s how Pagans role, yo. The book is called Firethorn by Sarah Micklem. In it the theology in that world is so…intuitive. It’s basically a fully realized system of poly-theology based on archetype and avatar theory. I like it as a way of identifying deities without the pressure to name and categorize them right off. So, while I’m taking inspiration from her work, I’m not using her system.

But what I’ve come up with goes like this:

For several nights I’ve been trying to cultivate a dream life. It’s something that takes time, yes, but I’ve felt the desire pressing on my intuition. I wanted to petition a deity, make a little offering, but I had no idea who. And I really hate, hate, hate just looking up a deity from a correspondence table. It just feels like cold-calling, which I just…I mean, it seems a bit disrespectful, truth told. So, I used the name Dream Weaver. Which feels like an aspect of the same Weaver I murmur to when I read cards. And it seems to have worked.

Someday a name might be whispered in my ear, but for now, to my modern, disconnected from archaic knowledge and really not wanting to screw it up brain, this works.

Right now I’m not sure of many others. Some names that I have work for me. Aphrodite for marriage, beauty and sex. Hestia and Brighid for different aspects of home, hearth-fire, marriage, children, cooking, housework. And on and on. But for others that I don’t have names for yet, Dream Weaver and Weaver and Star Lady (though I see her in Aphrodite and Brighid, too) and Warrior and Storyteller, this seems to…be a happy medium.

I guess this is my deity life hack. Or something. Thoughts?