Contemporary Polytheist Theology: Does Geography Curtail the Gods’ “Outreach”?

It’s not often that I begin my day composing a Facebook post asking for pensive responses to a theological question of mine, but that’s how my morning started. Twelve hours and 100+ comments later, I’m reflecting on my musings, my Facebook friends’ insights (to the ones that overlap as readers of this blog, thank you for your input!), and it’s time to craft a blog post around it all. This was my inquiry for discussion:

Serious theological question for my fellow devotional Polytheists: Do you believe that the Gods you serve are limited in Their ‘outreach’ based on geography? Case in point: during my years in Hawaii, my contact with worlds-wandering Hekate and the Kemetic Deities I serve never abated (the Latter Group loved Hawaii, from my experience), but, try as I might, neither Odin or the Vanir were accessible to me out there. However, whenever I visited Chicago, my ‘line’ to Them was instantly reestablished. Upon returning to Hawaii, the spiritual phone line ‘went dead’ again until I moved back home permanently.

What have your experiences been with Gods and spatial/temporal boundaries?

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Answering the Call

How do you answer the call for relationship-building when a Deity from a cultural Pantheon you have scant experience with “taps” you? This is my chronicle of my developing relationship with the Celtic equine Otherworld Goddess, Rhiannon.

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Ave, Magna Deum Mater! The Rites of the Goddess Kybele, Then and Now

Go to the Phrygian shrine of Cybele, to her groves

Where the voice of cymbals sounds, the tambourines rattle,

Where the Phrygian piper sings with the deep curved pipe,

Where Maenads wearing ivy throw back their heads,

Where they practice the sacred rites with sharp yells.

Where they flutter around the goddess’s cohort:

It is there we must go with our rapid dances.

–Catullus, Poem 63 (circa 60 BCE)

When we think of the Ides of March, naturally, our minds as postmodern Westerners turn to thoughts of the assassination of Julius Caesar in the year 44 BCE (Before Common Era). But the ancient Romans left us a far greater legacy than the anniversary of a sordid murder. This time of year was a very holy one in the Classical Mediterranean world. Aside from celebrating the Feast of Anna Perenna, the Goddess of Timekeeping, on the banks of the Tiber River and in a sacred grove between the Flaminian and Salarian Roads, the ancient Romans kicked off a multi-week Festival in honor of the Great Goddess Kybele (Cybele), a Phrygian Mother and Mountain Goddess/Lady of the Beasts as well as order-upholding Goddess of the Polis, She Who was known for Her ecstatic Mystery cult (featuring Her slain and reborn consort, Attis) and for granting the Romans victory in their demoralizing and horrendously protracted Punic Wars (264 – 146 BCE) against the Carthaginians. Continue reading

Prayer to La Santa Muerte Blanca

Mi Flaquita

Shrine of La Niña Blanca in my home temple space. Prayer and photo (c) A. Applegate 2018.

Most Holy Death,

Glorious and Powerful

Sister of Mercy,

Stand firm as my Protector:

My unwavering shield

Against all foes,

Those known and those not known to me.

Be my guiding light

When all avenues seem dark,

Ensuring the safety of my body and

The wellness of my mind and spirit.

Lady of Purity,

Lady of Righteousness,

Seated at the Right Hand of the Father,

May I always find refuge in

Your mantle of Protection,

Granting me spiritual and physical protection and peace.

So shall it be.

(Pray the “Hail Mary” three times.)

(c) A. Applegate 2018

Prayer to La Santa Muerte Dorada for Financial Well-Being

Prayer to La Dorada for Financial Well-Being

(c) Anna Applegate 2018

IMG_3211

This statue of La Dorada at my shrine has a robe with a fabric pattern meant to represent U.S. dollars. I love Her mirrored nimbus/crown.

La Santisima,

We will see You face to face sooner or later,

As You, without regard to age or riches,

Claim the old, the young, even the newly born

To come to Your feet at the appointed time.

Until that last day, hour, and second,

When Your Divine Majesty

Commands us to appear at Your feet,

Grant unto us Your favor

That our lives will be well lived:

Alleviate all financial insecurity,

All poverty and despair,

Bringing instead the health and joy

That comes in the wake of steady work and self-worth.

Let our businesses, our bank accounts,

And everything we do to provide for ourselves flourish.

Blessed and praised be Your Generosity,

Holy Death.

In God we believe but in You we trust.

Amen.

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La Santa Muerte Tres Metales (of the three metals), left, and La Dorada, right, at yet another of my shrines. 

Tempest in the Desert: A Devotional Group Ritual to Set

For a long time, it was the conviction of scholars that the fact that one and the same deity might display divergent and sometimes even contradictory qualities could best be explained by assuming that such a god had resulted by a historical process from several simple deities. This train of thought is based on a rationalistic misunderstanding and a failure to appreciate the nature of religious experience. In essence, each important god comprises all possibilities. Gods can not be sorted out like buttons.

–te Velde, Herman. Seth, God of Confusion: A Study of His Role in Egyptian Mythology and Religion. Leiden, The Netherlands: E.J. Brill, 1977. pp.101-102.

Tempest in the Desert: The Ritual

(c) 2015 A. Applegate / aka Katakhanas

 

Opening Song in Egyptian

Reҳ hᾱᾱiu                                                                    I rejoice

Ma a-ᾴ paut neteru                                                   May I look upon the company of the Gods.

Nuk ut’a tep ta ҳer Rᾱ mena-a nefer                      I am strong upon the earth before Ra,

Ẋer Ausȧr                                                                   May my arrival be happy before Osiris

Nuk t’a pet                                                                  I have sailed over heaven

Nuk ȧȧh                                                                       I am the moon

Ba-ᾱ pu neteru bai u en neheh                   My soul is the Gods, who are the Souls of Eternity

Au-ȧ ab kua neteri-kuᾴ                                              I myself am pure, I am mighty

A net’-hra-k Neter Set Ankh Ka                                  Homage to Thee, Set of the Living Ka

A net’-hra-ten nebu heh                                               Homage to Thee, Ye Lords of Eternity

Nuk ab per em seҳet                                          I am the pure one coming forth from the field

Ȧn-na en Ɵen netersenƟer                                          I have brought you incense

[BOW BEFORE SET’S IMAGE; ARMS IN OSIRIS POSE]

Tu a Suti                                                                          You are Set

Urt-Hekau                                                                       Mighty One of Words of Power

Ta-k-na uat seś-a em-hetep                                    Grant to me a way that I may pass in peace

Ȧn-na kert ᾱb-kua                                                          I am silent, I am pure

Ĺ-nᾱ, ҳerk-k neb Ra                                                       I have come to Thee, O my Lord Ra

Reҳ hᾱᾱiu                                                                        I rejoice

Reҳ hᾱᾱiu                                                                        I rejoice

[BOW AND SHAKE SISTRUM]

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Io, Saturnalia! Saturn Returns to His Home Sign of Capricorn for the Next 3 Years

“Saturn ascends / Choose one or ten / Hang on or be / Humbled again”
–TOOL “The Grudge” (Lateralus, 2001)

This is the planetary event I’ve been looking forward to all year—more than August’s dramatic total solar eclipse, more than Jupiter entering Scorpio in October. As of last night, the great karmic task-master esoterically embodied as the planet Saturn has entered His home sign of Capricorn—where transformative Pluto awaits Him! This glorious transit will last a whopping three years.   Continue reading