15 Years

I’ve been doing some reflecting on where my path began lately and realized that this year marks 15 years since I began a journey of self discovery through Paganism. I’ve written before, I think, about how my path began when I read The Odyssey for the first time in my junior high school library. It was a crackly, blue, hardcover book that the librarian told me hadn’t been checked out since she had been working there.

I checked it out several more times that school year and sought it out the next year to find that it had been swept away with the other unpopular books. I moved on to reading everything I could find about the ancient Gods and was overjoyed whenever my Ancient History class touched on the subject.

I didn’t know then that I’d been on this path now. I didn’t even know the term Pagan or that it was an available path to follow.

All I knew was that the God of The Bible was not the only to receive love and honor. I had tried to give Him my love and I had tried to receive His, but I never felt Him. There was never a connection.

I searched endlessly for that connection until I was 18, spending my days and evenings wandering the shelves in the local Borders bookstore day after day reading (but not buying…) their books on Greek Mythology, when I discovered the metaphysical section and learned that people worshiped, loved, and honored these Gods and others like Them.

I took a chance and began talking to Them like I had tried to talk to the God of The Bible. I spoke, I wrote, I thought, and I began meditating for the first time. And I waited.

At the time I was an avid writer and was working tirelessly on a comic book script. My time spent searching for the presence of these new-old Gods was focused on finding Apollo. So when the first signs came to me I knew it must be Him. I grasped firmly to that idea for a year, wondering why I didn’t feel fulfilled in that aspect of my spirituality.

Then He came to me. Bold and strong. Dark and awe inspiring. My loosely Christian upbringing led me to interpret His signs as those of Hades. Dark, smoldering, with a “pitchfork” of sorts in His hand. His patience was endless as I tried convincing myself of who He was, but He wasn’t.

While Hades lent me His council on many things during this time as I gave Him praise Poseidon sat closely by my side, whispering truths. And when I finally welcomed Him in my heart, He left a place for Hades that would be filled by His Lady Persephone in the next couple of years.

Throughout that time I sought council and learned lessons from the Gods – some Greek, some Egyptian, some Norse. There are still whispers from some, God or otherwise I’m not sure, that I haven’t yet clarified. I’ve met guides and spirits in passing and welcomed my One, Sunrise, into my life.

My depression still sometimes interferes with my ability to connect to the Gods and to nature (and to myself and the people around me, for that matter), but along with my daughter, the Gods help me to work through it and continue on this path.

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30 Days of Devotion: 7-12

It’s been a he’ll of a week with construction madness and emotional lows, but they say that the best time to do something is when you feel like you can’t. So here I am, playing catch up on my devotion posts.

Day 7: names and epithets

  • Earth shaker
  • Savior of Sailors
  • The Bull of the Sea
  • Creator of Horses
  • The Rock Poseidon 
  • Averted of Earthquakes
  • God of the Sea
  • Who Dashes Against
  • King
  • Secures Safe Voyage
  • Overseer
  • Watching
  • Holder of the Earth
  • Father
  • Plant Nurturer
  • Of the King
  • Of the House
  • Of the People

Day 8: variations of this Deity

Simply looking at the above collection of titles and epithets, you can easily see that Poseidon covered more areas beyond the sea depending on where He was worshipped.

In some areas, He was a household Deity that watched over families and their homes. In areas dependent on river flow, He was a Deity of agriculture and plant growth. In coastal areas, of course, He was a God of bountiful fish and safe voyage. One note He was not.

Day 9: common misconceptions 

The previous section actually leads me to the first topic in this one. Poseidon, like all Gods and divine entities, is not one dimensional. I’ve encountered many people, usual non-Pagans but not always, who think each God has their 1 or 2 areas of expertise and nothing more. Poseidon is King in the sea, Shaker of the Earth, Savior and Dasher. His long arms of guidance and protection extend far to places where the ocean is far off and unseen.

Another misconception I encounter is a direct result of literal interpretation of the myths and an unwillingness to believe that the Gods adapt with changing ideals over time. So many people question my worship of Poseidon because they believe he is misogynistic and sexually frivolous, neither of which is true.

The Gods as creators are tasked with populating the Earth with our Heroes. For the purposes of the myths, the absence of monogamy allowed for these Heroes and other Divine offspring to have a sort of variety. Had Poseidon bred only with His consort Amphitrite, the Pegasus would not have come about. By laying with Medusa this was possible.

Outside of the myths, though, in my personal experience, is where I’ve learned these things to be false. I mentioned in a previous post that Poseidon holds consensual, sexual acts to be sacred. To say that he will lay with anyone or anything is disrespectful in this sense. He takes care in pursuing his partners and does not take them lightly. All things have their time and place. As a God of the Sea, He reveres creation in all of its forms. The female body is the foundation of our creation. It curves like His waves and pulses like His tide. We are His counterpart. The female of creation to his Male. As a God he embraces, rather than rejects or denies, this duality.

Day 10: offerings

  • Pine
  • Wine/cheese/honey  (I’ve found this combination to be popular among many Greek Deities and Heroes)
  • Beef
  • Rum/whisky/beer
  • Sexual acts
  • Caught fish (that you’ve caught yourself, that is)
  • Athletic games
  • Strategy games
  • Oral hygiene 
  • Salted meat
  • Lemons and limes
  • Earl gray tea

Day 11: sacred days and festivals

The month of December corresponds to Poseidon’s month on the Athenian calendar. December 23rd was His day of celebration as well as the 8th of each month.

Around January 5th is the celebration of Poseidon Phytalmeos (fresh water and plant growth).

Around January 25th is the anniversary of the marriage of Zeus and Hera. Poseidon was honored on this day in some areas as well.

June 3rd and 12th held sacrifices to Poseidon.

Many other festivals were held including the first rain and last harvest depending on the region.

Day 12: places of worship

  • Beaches
  • Coast lines
  • Corinth
  • Argolis
  • Helice (now Achaea)
  • Onkhestos (now Boeotia)
  • Attica 
  • Sicyon