After my epiphany vision of how I had become twisted into a blinded creature of habit, unable to see that I needed to forge my own path, I have set out to change how I do things. I previously spent days devouring books by various authors, and had never truly applied them beyond stockpiling them in my memory for safe-keeping.
But no more, I am off the beaten path with a flashlight and a knife, peering into tree stumps, and breathing in the breeze that filters through the undergrowth. Feeling the gritty dirt under my feet, and tracing the journeying sunbeams that shift and dance around me. I am marking my path as I go along, but I am avoiding any landmarks left by others.
I have gone out of my way to NOT read any other Pagan or Witch related books, and have simply followed the feelings that lead me to make offerings daily of my food, or how objects grab my attention to be picked up and brought home to my collection. Making each day a mindful interaction with the Spirits who are close to me. I have traded papery pages for living plants whose whispers might teach me something if I can convince them I am worthy. I am working on proving this to them, and to my Gods and Spirits, because I know the rewards have been worth the efforts I have had to put into it.
Reading other people’s work is now more of an objective look into how other minds work, but not a frantic digging for the “right” way to do things. I realized that despite me leaving my birth religion, I had hardly strayed from what was being taught by others rather than searching for my own answers. I kept reading and studying because I knew nothing fit how I saw the world, but I was scared of being wrong. I remember vacillating between poles of fully immersing myself and running away because I couldn’t answer what would happen if I spent my whole life being a Pagan or a Witch, and after my death found out I was wrong. The “what ifs” drove me mad, and in the end I just piled more traditions on top of each other in hopes of drowning out that fear inside me. The first time I refused to pray to the christian god I remember fearfully looking up at the ceiling as if he was about to strike me with lightning.
But now I see that what I am doing IS right. It doesn’t matter if others don’t agree, I don’t care. My path is my own, and only I can truly flesh it out into a fulfilling spiritual experience. I know I keep reiterating this throughout my blog posts, but this realization hit me today, and I feel like walls have fallen into dusty heaps in my mind and heart. Taking these views and fears and blowing them up with spiritual dynamite has been quite satisfying.
I had steered clear of honoring certain deities because of others warning me away, or being told due to my blood lines I wasn’t supposed to worship them. Being told that leaving offerings to the Orisha Oya was culturally offensive and stealing. Being drawn to working with land Spirits who appear as Paleolithic or Native American animals is the same, robbing others of their heritage. To mix Celtic deities and working with Elder Futhark runes offends the Gods. Psssht, writing that makes me cringe with the ridiculousness of these statements…
But really, how do these people know what offends anyone other than themselves? I am an American Mutt, I can trace my bloodlines all over British, German, Jewish (WWII escapees), Southern plantation owners, Pennsylvania Dutch, Irish, and Scottish. And those are just the ancestors I know about. Having to pick only one bloodline to be faithful to would end up hurting someone else’s feelings, or piss off a Being I wouldn’t want to get on the bad side of.
I know that Loki has proven that He is fine with me worshiping or honoring other deities, He has pointed out that His view is “Honoring others is fine, as long as you don’t ignore or forget me.” Which isn’t possible because of how vocal He gets if I neglect what He views as His due. For the moment the ways I end up honoring Him is dealing with all this piled up junk, and shedding my old beliefs to make room to grow into something better. As well as offering Him various sugary treats, or a portion of my food. He reminds me that He also likes alcohol, even if I don’t drink, and pouring Him a drink wouldn’t hurt.
Oh boy, that usually means DO IT, or He will mess with me in a jesting but insistent way until I change my mind and buy Him a nice rum or vodka.
So I guess the biggest feeling is a sense of excitement seeing an untapped wilderness stretching out before me brimming with discoveries to be made. And if someone looks at me like I am crazy, or making stuff up, I really don’t care. I know if it works for me, even if it is considered by others to be unconventional or weird, then that is okay with me. I have been the weird one my whole life, so what’s different about it now? The difference if I am happy, and that’s good enough for me. If I end up with a drum painted with curling Celtic knots surrounding a sketch of a Venus of Willendorf or cave paintings from Neanderthal era France, dancing along side coiled roses or snakes, then that’s what works for me. Which actually sounds pretty cool, now that I think about it.