Patreon Topic 16: Balancing Cosmologies

If you want to submit a topic you would like me to write on for this blog or my Patreon, sign up for the Uruz or Thurisaz level or above here on my Patreon.

From Amanda Artimesia Forrester comes this question:

“I don’t know if you’ve covered this before, since I’ve just signed up, but how about balancing Heathen cosmology with other Pagan systems? I come from mostly a Hellenic background, with some Egyptian, before Odin snatched me up 4 or 5 years ago.”

If I have covered it, it has been awhile. So, how do I balance cosmologies?

To a certain degree I don’t.

Even if we agree between our various cosmologies that all things are interconnected and that magic comes to us in a variety of fashions, how we understand and interact with the cosmos at large matters. Cultural lenses of understanding drastically affect how we understand and interact with Gods, Ancestors, and spirits. It also affects how we see our places in things, how we access magic, and what ways are acceptable to make use of magic. In some ways, there is no good way to ‘balance’ this, only work with and live with these worldview side-by-side as best we can.

Polytheisms have a lot of agreement between the various cultural backgrounds. We all agree the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits are real. We all agree that Gods, Ancestors, and spirits are, generally, worthy of worship. We all agree that there are underlying spiritual forces beneath our material reality that are acted on, comingled with, and affecting one another.

Where a lot of polytheisms have differences on is the Who and how we worship and otherwise interact with the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits. Polytheist religions agree on a lot of the broad basics between one another. Where there is a great deal of difference between polytheist religions is the details. The Soul Matrix in Heathenry v Kemeticism is a great example. Who the magic tends to come through or Who tends to be the initiator into certain spiritual practices, Óðinn and/or Freyja v Heka and/or Isis, would be another.

Balancing between Heathen and Kemetic religions is not something I worry overmuch about. While my primary polytheist worldview is that of a Heathen, when it comes time to do Kemetic things I adopt a Kemetic worldview. I had to make a similar adjustment when Óðinn grabbed me up from Anpu. While some of the cores of my practice changed, eg being very focused on the Dead and caring for the wandering Dead in my work with Anpu, to doing a ton of work with Runatýr and the Runevaettir, my usual practices of cleansing, grounding, centering, shielding, and the creation of wards did not. How my usual practices are done and the specific prayers I made did change.

Part of the challenge in worshiping Gods from multiple cultures is how to respectfully navigate each relationship. I tend to give similar offerings to each of my Gods, Ancestors, and spirits so long as it will not offend one group or another. Where there could be offense or a certain kind of offering would not be good, I make another. For instance, there are some Warrior and Military Dead that I make offerings to that do not want alcohol, so I make separate offerings, usually of water or coffee, for Them. Likewise, there are those Warrior and Military Dead that do want alcohol, so I offer Them that. As the Warrior and Military Dead are on a shrine with Anpu and Wepwawet the offerings I make and the way I pray is distinctly Kemetic in the opening prayers whereas most of the altars my family and I offer and pray at are generally done with Heathen prayers and formulations. As I pray to Warrior and Military Dead from several cultural backgrounds, I tend to address and thank Them in Their relevant languages.

Balancing relationships sometimes means that one worldview becomes your primary for a while, perhaps even the rest of your life. When I was an independent Kemetic priest of Anpu I thought for sure that it was the only worldview I would need or adopt. Then, as with so many folks I know, Óðinn came into my life and upended everything, and I found myself a Heathen in quick order. There may be point where you will find swerving drastically this way and that, offering mead to this God, beer to that, water to this set of Ancestors, and fresh fruit or vegetables to that spirit. What matters is your approach is respectful to the Gods, Ancestors, spirits, and the cultural milieu you are engaged in. For a lot of our offerings this is as simple as making offerings of fresh, cold, clean water in a good vessel of glass or ceramic and making prayers appropriate to the Gods, Ancestors, and/or spirits.

As each person has to balance their own relationships, I cannot give broad advice beyond that. What your Gods, Ancestors, and spirits may ask of you may not be that detailed. It is something that if you have questions on, divination and prayer are my go-to. Explore, pray, talk, divine, and experience how best you can strike balance with your Gods, Ancestors, and spirits.

Day 30: Cleansing, Empowerment, Offering and Sealing -30 Days of Magic Talisman Challenge

This day was an excellent end to the 30 Day Talisman Challenge.  The work started off with extra cleansing work: a traditional beer bath.  I drew up a hot bath, entered it, and prayed to the Gods and spirits of Water, thanking Them for cleansing me inside and out.  I had the bottle of Hofbräu Dunkel opened already, and brought it into the bath with me.  Standing in the bath, I prayed thanks to the brewers, and to the spirits of beer itself.  Then, I poured three times into the bath, thanking the spirits of Water and the beer as I did, and then poured the beer three times over my head, the beer flowing down my back and front.  The effect was immediate: I started to feel physically, mentally, and spiritually clean from the inside out.  I then poured the beer over my shoulders, my hands, genitals, and down towards my feet.  I then drank a little and left the remainder of the bottle outside the bath.

I expected to be very sticky but I was not.  Quite the opposite; I felt better than if I had used soap.  As I cleaned myself in the bath, I plunged my head into the water and came out feeling as though all the cobwebs were gone.  I then galdred Midgarð’s Name, calling upon it to help me ground, center, and shield.  I then called upon Ansuz and Gebo, as I usually do, to continue the cleansing work with Ansuz, and finish the grounding and centering with Gebo.  I then let out the water, feeling very clear inside and out, and waited until the water and beer had completely gone down the drain before stepping out.

I dressed in fresh clothes, then cleaned out the offering bowls to Runátýr and the Runevaettir, then offered blood, and my last bottle of Hofbräu Original to Them.  When this was done I went to the Rune altar.  I thanked the Gods and spirits of Fire for blessing, cleansing, and protecting the area and I for the 30 days of work.  I prayed thanks for the 30 days of work Runátýr, the Runevaettir, and I  had done together, for the blessings, power, and grace They had bestowed upon the talismans.  Then I did the empowerment work with Them for the last time before the sealing work.

I picked up a copper-bottomed pot and an aluminum pot from the local PTO thrift store for doing sealing work with these talismans, and other pieces I have done.  First I had copper-bottomed pot come to a boil on the stove, and placed the aluminum pot on top of it.  There were still some of the beeswax in the bottom of the pot from the test I had done with an Ægishjálmur talisman that I made some time ago, so I did not have to cut up too many chunks from the beeswax slab.

Both talismans were done the same way:  When the beeswax became clear, I placed the talisman in with small tongs and swished it around the aluminum pot, and then flipped it, coating both sides.  I took the talisman out, and placed it on a ceramic plate I had next to the stove.  While the beeswax cooled and hardened, I galdred the Runes of each talisman, moving it sunwise as I did.  When both were totally sealed I brought them back upstairs to lay on the Rune altar until the wealth talisman is given away, and I determine where the communion talisman needs to go.

This has been a great experience.  These 30 days of discipline and work have gone by well; the talismans hum and feel good to the touch.  I am eagerly awaiting giving the wealth talisman away at the Wandering Owl, and continuing to work with the communion talisman.  Thank you for starting this Challenge, Andrieh Vitimitus.  Thank you, who have watched this work progress, and thank you to all my fellow Challenge workers.  Blessings on each of you in this, and all Challenges ahead.  Thank you to the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits who have been directly involved, and supportive of this work.  Hail to you all.  Ves ðu heil!

Link to the Creation Ritual.

Link to Daily Empowerment Work.

Day 29: Empowerment -30 Days of Magic Talisman Challenge

This is the home stretch.  Tomorrow the talismans will be sealed.  There’s a kind of excitement brewing, both from myself and from the Runes as well.  That a month of work is coming to a close and that this project will be complete.  The energies in the Runes ‘smell’ something like when you know food that smells just right; it is good, wholesome, delicious, and in some way, it makes your mouth water.  I have the beeswax, and I will be making a bag for this as well tomorrow.  I am really looking forward to it.

Link to the Creation Ritual.

Link to Daily Empowerment Work.

Day 28: Empowerment -30 Days of Magic Talisman Challenge

I’m looking forward to the end of this challenge.  It has been a good daily touchstone, and I think I will continue this work in some fashion.  Since I am keeping the communion talisman I may work that into an everyday prayer.

The empowerment itself went well.  There’s a kind of anticipation building; I cannot wait to seal these talismans.

Link to the Creation Ritual.

Link to Daily Empowerment Work.

Day 27: Offering and Empowerment -30 Days of Magic Talisman Challenge

Yesterday was madcap in terms of stuff to do.  It was my first day, and will be my only day, of missing a day of this work.  Today I gave offerings of blood to Runátýr and the Runevaettir, and gave an offering of a very special beer: Hofbräu Original.  I generally do not like beer unless it is a good quality one.  I had one of these at Frankenmuth, MI last Saturday and it knocked my socks of.  One of the people I call Brother bought me a sampler case of Hofbräu beers, and I offered this to Runátýr and the Runevaettir, and to Frigga as well.  It felt very well received.

The empowerment went very well.  There is an odd but good sensation to the talismans when I trace the woodburnings in them.  Something like a surge of electricity that makes my arm feel odd as I press my finger to the Runes.  Both of them have this sensation, almost identically.  There’s a different ‘flavor’ to the wealth talisman from the communion talisman.  Just two more days until the beeswax sealing of these two.  I’ll be grabbing pots, possibly today, so I can do double boiling from a local thrift store, and keep them for this work.

Link to the Creation Ritual.

Link to Daily Empowerment Work.

Day 26: Empowerment -30 Days of Magic Talisman Challenge

Today went well, especially after a busy day.  I think that it is a good thing that there’s not a lot of new things to write on at this point; this is, I think, where this process should be.  In three days I will be finishing the talismans by putting on the beeswax, and blooding the one I am keeping.

Link to the Creation Ritual.

Link to Daily Empowerment Work.

Day 24 and 25: Empowerment -30 Days of Magic Talisman Challenge

Yesterday and today’s empowerment were quicker than usual, and brought with each a feeling of power coursing down through my arm as the empowerment was completed.  I’ve had this feeling with each one, but it is becoming especially pronounced now as we near the end of the Challenge.  It isn’t like lightning, electricity feeling, more like a warmth spreading down my arm.  The Internet has been sporadically up and down, and here’s hoping that cuts out soon.  I’m getting tired of posting these one to two days after they happen!

Link to the Creation Ritual.

Link to Daily Empowerment Work.

Day 22: Empowerment -30 Days of Magic Talisman Challenge

Today was simple and clean.  The energies of the talismans are in good forward motion.  I’ll be experimenting with the beeswax soon in a double boiling technique with another talisman to see what the process is like, and how easy or hard it will be to coat them when the Challenge comes to a close.

 

Link to the Creation Ritual.

Link to Daily Empowerment Work.

Day 21: Purification Explanation, the Value of Practice and Memorization, and Empowerment -30 Days of Magic Talisman Challenge

I have not found that I have gone very far into the purification work I do prior to the empowerment work.

Generally speaking, if I have not had a shower yet I will take one.  My usual routine during any shower is to set aside some time for cleansing, purification, uncrossing, and shield work.  I like the flow of Water in the work, given I am physically cleaning myself anyhow.  Given how madcap my scheduling can be, having a few dedicated minutes in the shower lends to a good time to do this work.  After hailing and thanking the Gods and spirits of Water, and Water Itself.  I will staðagaldr Ansuz to purify myself within as I am cleaning my body.  I recently incorporated a new step between staðagaldring Ansuz and Gebo: I ground with Midgarð, and work on shielding.  I then staðagaldr Gebo to bring myself into awareness, centering myself, and finishing up the grounding and shielding work.

After the shower I will go over to the Runes’ altar, thank the Sons and Daughters of Muspelheim, hail the Gods and spirits of Fire and Fire Itself, then light Their candle, and ask Fire to bless and cleanse me.  I take special care when doing this to bring the warmth from the top of my head down to my feet, taking special care to bring it to my lips.  I do this so that when I say the names of the Runes, I do so well and am careful, knowing that my words, especially now, should be mindful,  and spoken with clear intent for the empowerment work.  I will then staðagaldr Ansuz once more to bring myself clarity and cleansing, then Gebo for centering, and grounding in the work before me.

Then I make the prayers to Rúnatýr and the Runevaettir, and begin the empowerment work with Them.  Keep in mind that a lot, if not all of this is part of my everyday routine now.  It may sound long and exhaustive, but a lot of the prep work is already done, making it so that when I kneel to do the work it goes well even when I am being quick about it.  With the memorization of the prayers I no longer have to think overlong about how to formulate the prayers, but to make them in the proper mindset, focused on the work at hand.  With the memorization of the ritual actions I have the same result.  This works quite well for me, to the point that I will probably follow this formula in the future since I spend a good deal more time on the actual empowerment now than I do worrying about the ritual actions themselves.

Link to the Creation Ritual.

Link to Daily Empowerment Work.