Patreon Poem/Prayer/Song 7 -For Sleipnir

If you want to submit a request for a prayer, poem, or song to be written to you privately or to be posted on this blog or my Patreon for a God, Ancestor, or spirit, sign up for the Ansuz and above level here on my Patreon. This prayer was requested from my fourth Raiðo patron for Sleipnir.

Over skies and oceans you have crossed

Over land and the Helvegen itself

Eight legs across Nine Worlds

Glorious-Maned, Peerless Stallion, Best of Horses!

Spear-Hooved, Iron-Flanked, Windswept Galloper!

Sleipnir Lokison!

O Holy One, Son of a God and His Bloodbrother’s Bearer

You bring Your burdens unbowed

Through danger and Death to home and hearth

Praise to You O Peerless Journeyer

Sire of Blessed Steeds

Grey-coated Wanderer of Worlds!

Quiet, and Hopping Back On

The Gods, Ancestors, and vaettir have been pretty quite the last few weeks. I make offerings now and again, and things, overall are quiet. I know from experience that some of these long-ish pauses between activity are here for me to get myself together, and/or to let me enjoy myself after a hard time. Sometimes the Holy Powers just don’t have anything for me to do. Sometimes I ask for down-time and They are kind enough to give it to me.

What does this down-time look like for me? I keep up mealtime prayers and evening prayers with my family. Even tonight, with our son dog-tired from his day, we prayed Sigdrifa’s Prayer in bed, whereas we usually go to the altars and shrines for Whom the prayers are being said. We keep the water offerings fresh as we can, and occasionally, if I feel the call and feel I can do it in a sacred manner, I do smoke offerings and prayers with my personal sacred pipe. When I am able to come home from work soon enough, or wake up in time on my days off, I do morning prayers with my family. Otherwise, I generally tend to stay away from divination, magical workings, even making written poems and/or prayers. I don’t tend to find myself in a good headspace to do sacred work of any kind heavier than offerings and prayers.

Getting back on the ‘heavy work’ bike is like coming back to exercise after a hiatus. If it has been a long time, it is easier to get winded if I haven’t done anything like walking or running around. If I’ve kept up at least with the bare minimum it is easier to come back to where I need to be, even if things need a bit of shuffling around. I find that cleaning the upstairs where we live can help put me into that ‘work’ mindset. When I do housework, if I am being mindful about it, it is an offering to Frigga and Frau Holle at the least, and may also be an offering to the Gods, Disir, Väter, Ancestors, housevaettir, and other vaettir who share our home.

Cleaning helps me reset. It puts me in the mind of “okay, we’re starting fresh”, especially because when we do big cleanings we often completely dismantle, was the altar cloths, and then clean all the altars and shrines. Cleaning is spiritual for me in part because it is mostly physical. I have to concentrate on it for a while, put myself into it to do it well, and gain a deep sense of satisfaction when it is done. Grandmother Una, Mugwort, cleanses the insides. The vacuum sucks up the debris, the cloths and water clean the surfaces.

We will usually start off with a cleansing of ourselves so we do the work in a clean head and spiritual space. When we are coming out of a hard period, or I have done a hard working, like the last time we did an Ancestor elevation, we cleanse ourselves and the space with either Thunderwater or Florida Water. The Thunderwater is only brought out for big cleansings, since the Florida Water will usually do the trick. Thunderwater, (which we sometimes call Lightningwater), is rainwater we collect during thunderstorms that we ask Thor to bless. If I/we feel Odin in the storm, we ask Him to bless it as well. We’ve only had to refill it once, given how often we use it. When we do not use it, it sits in the Water section of our Ancestor shrine. Using this or Florida Water, along with fresh, white towels, together with the very act of cleaning brings me into a solid headspace. Not only am I doing something good and holy, but I am doing it from a clean space myself.

The next part of getting used to riding again might be something like making special prayers for our Gods, or it may be doing several days of special offerings. It may be going outside and tending the outdoor shrine, which, during the fallow periods, tends to get neglected. So while I am out there I will clean that up, and the sacred fire pit (thankfully mobile and easy to clean), and make sure the area is relatively clear of debris. Given it is in a little grove in a wood, clean is relative to the season. This first winter with the sacred fire pit should be interesting.

I have found a pretty important part of this ‘getting used to riding’ is learning and/or remembering how to pace myself. I get back on and go too quick without Odin demanding it, or otherwise needing to, and I can burn out quick. I have found long-term devotional relationships have ebbs and flows to them. What is important to remember is that while we can help it be an ebb or a flow, sometimes our Gods or an Ancestor, or vaettir will push us into one of these to slow us down and take our time, or speed us up and get ourselves further along. I don’t think that people have to be ‘on’, godphone or otherwise, ever, to be a good Pagan or polytheist. It is entirely possible to not hear the Gods, Ancestors, and/or vaettir at all and be an incredible, devoted, pious worshiper. Likewise, I don’t think that those of us who do have gifts of any sort should feel like these have to be ‘on’ all the time to be a good servant, friend, child, helpmeet, godatheow, etc., of the Gods. Sometimes our Gods, Ancestors, and/or vaettir might require a furious pace out of us, which tests our biking ability to its limits, and then at another time, to walk with the bike rather than ride it.

A is for Anubis

With Anubis coming back into my life in a big way, the Pagan Blog Project has given me some inspiration to write here.  I am coming late to this, so I am playing a bit at catch-up!

Anubis’ effect on my life has been profound.  He came into my life in a time where I was uncertain of myself and my path, and helped set me straight.  When He entered my life again some years later, calling me to His Priesthood, He pushed me to change.  His Presence in my life is a constant blessing.  I am learning something from Him, even when He is silent, sometimes especially so.  For a recap of how where we’ve come from, look here.

He has largely been quiet these last four years since I began my Work with Odin, but now He is back in the fore of my life, and Odin is moving more to the side par the moment.  My Work with my Ancestors has picked up, with prayers being made every day to Them, and offerings as often as I can.  He seems pleased by this.  My work with Him at the moment is largely about small prayers, and making offerings to Him.  In my experience, He is not as in-your-face as Odin tends to be, and His lessons with me have been more subtle.  He seems to have a kind of infinite patience as you paddle about in circles, waiting for you to get it.  

A small statue of Anubis in His half-human form stands on my altar right next to my statue of Odin.  He is about half a pen in height, is made from cold-cast resin, and is well-detailed with little bits of gold flecking His black face.  When I give offerings of food and water to my Gods, as best as I can, I feed Him and water Him as the ancient priests would have done.  While I cannot do this every day in the morning, due to my school schedule, it is powerfully connective to me.  Feeding and giving my God, through this statue something to drink.  Does He need to be fed, watered, or bathed as a God?  No, but, it is such a connective work.  I used to think it was a small thing until He asked me a question: “When someone gives you food, water, or bathes you, is that a small thing?”

I think that is a great lesson from Him: the seemingly small things belie great things.  The small, everyday gestures of love, devotion, and worship are more important than the large pieces of work.  The small things make the big things possible.  In reorienting my life around these smaller things I’m better able to do His Work, and life comes at me in a way I can handle a lot better.  I’m not scrambling around for help, or  wondering what I should do.  There is a foundation of Work already there, to rely on and to call on.  I am just beginning to find the benefits of this slower path as Anubis has come back to the fore in my religious life.  The far slower pace I have with Him this time is letting me hear His Voice much deeper, and clearer than I used to.  It is a work in progress, but His patience with me and my Work taking on a more slow pace gives me room to stretch and breathe, like the difference between stretching with Yoga and speed bag training.

He is a guide, but He does not shove you through the door.  He has waited, with His incredible patience, to get to the point I am at.  I am just beginning to relearn about Him.  To regain that deep familiarity with His Voice that I had when I was His priest full-time.  To deepen my devotion work with Him.  I look forward to my journey, and pray for patience.