Is gratitude part of your practice?

It can be hard when we’re going through difficulties to remember to be grateful for what we do have in our lives, but it can make such a difference. When we are truly thankful for the small blessings in our lives it reminds us that the world is not ‘against’ us. It can be all too easy to forget the good when we’re caught up in the less-good.
This also applies to our practice as Polytheists. When things aren’t going so well do you still remember to thank the Gods for what is in your life? When that surprise gift/job/opportunity comes up do you remember to say, “thank you”?

Between March and up until mid-September time I was really struggling, but even in the darkest moments I was still able to find little things to be grateful for – and I don’t just mean in a superficial, ” I suppose I should be grateful/thankful for this” way. I mean on a truly grateful level. I mean on a level where you feel that thanks and gratitude in the depths of your heart.
Sometimes it would literally just be, “thank you for this hot water bottle,” when I was in pain. In moments when I felt lost or didn’t know what on earth was going on with my life I found myself repeatedly saying to my Beloveds, “thank you for being there, thank you for watching over me.” Even when my fears blocked Them out I knew They were still there, and I was (and am) truly, deeply grateful for that.

But the one that came up time and time again was perhaps the most simple, and yet maybe the most powerful: “thank you for existing, and thank you for letting me know You exist.” I felt (and feel) this from the depths of my heart, and not only in darker times but also moments of happiness, joy and excitement.

Do you remember to thank your Beloved Deities even when it’s not a ‘big’ thing? Do you remember to thank Them for all the little things that happen or come into your life? Do you remember to thank Them for being a part of your life? And, most importantly, do you thank Them just for Being?

Gratitude doesn’t cost anything, and if expressed in a genuine and heartfelt manner it becomes a gift and an offering in itself.

Advertisements

Remembrance Sunday prayer + repost of ‘Why I wear a poppy’

On this Remembrance Sunday
I wear my Poppy to remember the fallen,
To remember my family and Ancestors Who fought and gave their lives
And hearts for freedom.
I remember those who fought
To maintain the liberties
Of their families and people,
And I honour them for their sacrifice.
May they now know peace,
May they be remembered.
May the freedom we have
Because of them
Never be taken for granted.

(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, Northern Tamarisk, 2017

—-
You can also read my piece from last year because I feel it’s still relevant:
Full article link: Why I wear a poppy

I do not celebrate war, in fact I hope continually for the end of conflict the world over. The reason I wear the poppy is to remember people like my Grandad George, who was in the RAF and an air traffic controller in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe, my Great Aunty Margaret, who was part of the Women’s Army in the UK, and her first husband Norman, who was killed only a few days after they married. In the First World War my Great Grandmothers worked in the munitions factories.

I honour the fact that the people in our Armed Forces are fighting for a concept I can believe in – freedom – even if I find it very hard to agree with the means.

(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, Northern Tamarisk, 2017

Loki’s path: the grey-zone, balance and becoming

Loki is master of the grey-zone. In the Norse myths He walks a fine line between helping and betrayal. For the most part He’s the Retriever, the Gift Giver, the genial Companion. But He is also the One Who arranged Balder’s death (if you go solely by the Eddas – in Gesta Danorum it’s purely Hoder), the One Who understands that all cycles must come to an end in order for new growth and life to begin. In order for Change to be brought about sometimes we have to learn to let go.

Loki is behind every decision for growth that involves radical change and letting go.
In both the metaphysical and literal sense, some things we know and love become what holds us back from stepping into a more transformative phase of growth. Sometimes we walk a path in a certain field, with certain people beside us, with certain thought patterns or behaviours, and to move onto the next stage we must learn to walk without them.

Continue reading

Shared: On the Worship of Loki – A Facebook Discussion Response by Kyaza

Please read the full article by Kyaza/ HeathenWoman. I found it really confirmed a lot of what I’ve been learning about Loki over the last three and a half years, and also since certain things have happened this year. I have been sitting on a draft article for well over a week and Kyaza has given me the courage to look at it again and maybe post it.

Loki is a deity of connection and self-knowledge – he doesn’t allow people who honor him to lie to themselves for very long, and that is why he can be a difficult god to work with. Someone once told me that the version of Loki who shows up is the version of Loki you expect – if you expect him to be evil and ill-humored, that is what he will give you. If you expect him to be friendly and compassionate, that is what he will give you. He shows up the way you expect him to show up because he has a tendency to reflect your deepest secrets and hidden neuroses to you in such a way you cannot deny that they exist.
– On the Worship of Loki – A Facebook Discussion Response by Kyaza

Another person stated that Loki is the type to use and discard those who come to him. Up until that point, I was enjoying the back-and-forth because Loki loves to watch people argue over him (his vanity is pretty high, so any attention is good attention). While some people may have the misfortune to be used and discarded by Loki, it is typically only the people who expect that from him who will find that to be true. Loki is one of the least self-serving deities I know, and his compassion knows no bounds.
– On the Worship of Loki – A Facebook Discussion Response by Kyaza

https://heathenwoman.wordpress.com/2017/11/08/on-the-worship-of-loki-a-facebook-discussion-response/

New Etsy listings – Sekhmet, Horus and Khepera

I thought it was about time I finally started finding new homes for the Deity statues I’ve amassed over the past few years. I can’t stand seeing Deities unloved and homeless so I have rather a hoard now! I have lots more to list and can only manage to photograph a few at a time, but you can expect to see plenty more in the coming months.
Part of the idea behind the Etsy shop was to become more financially independent by doing something I love, and I hope to better realise this as I move forward. Another reason is that it can be quite hard to find good quality Egyptian statues in the UK, so in some small way I hope to make them more available, thus honouring my Beloved Deities by sending Them forth into peoples’ homes.

For now, due to the breakable nature, weight and subsequently high postage cost of the statues, the majority will be available to UK buyers only. I cannot justify charging nearly £18 postage to the USA, or £13 to the EU, especially when import taxes are factored in too, so I apologise. Some of the smaller items I have yet to list may be made available to those outside the UK.

I will still be making prayer strands, which will be available to buyers outside the UK. I haven’t got any to list yet but now my wellbeing is starting to improve I hope to get back to my beads soon.

Anyway, here are the four preloved Deities currently available from my Etsy shop and looking for Their new homes:

Tall Sekhmet statue (28cm) – https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/553482180/large-egyptian-goddess-sekhmet-black

Continue reading

Quote on light and the darkness by Emma Restall Orr

I came across this quote last night and thought it would be appropriate to share in time for Samhain. As we learn to embrace the nights drawing in we learn also to embrace the dark within, the cycle of decay associated with the coming of winter, and the things we have to release or let go of as cycles in our own lives come to their conclusion.

Access to light, day and night, is now considered by most a human right.
To the Pagan, that is ludicrous. More consciously aware of the power of light, and all that it allows, darkness is a profoundly potent word. It speaks of all that is hard to understand within nature, the infinite space of the universe, the energy of the night, of winter, of death, of decay and entropy. There are here no connotations of negativity; darkness is that which necessarily balances and embraces light. It contains those aspects of nature that are not known or not knowable, the void and the density, the mysteries beyond current comprehension. The word expresses all that could happen; in the poetry of Paganism, it is the cauldron of potential, the womb of rebirth, the rich mud in which the seed germinates.

– Emma Restall Orr, Living With Honour: A Pagan Ethics, ch. 2

Friday Finds : Hella items Samhain special

I’m resurrecting Friday Finds, since I haven’t done one for a while. Here are some of my favourite Hella items available on Etsy at the moment:

Hella statue

Hella Statue by L’Artefatto Esoterica (Italy) – https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/263238198/hel-hela-goddess-s-statuette

Hella statue 2

by PantheonSkulptur (Sweden) – https://www.etsy.com/uk/listing/523462209/hel-handmade-gilded-statue-steel-finish  –  I personally can attest to the quality of these – I have a gold Hella from PantheonSkulptur

Continue reading

 Herbal project: Dandelion flower tincture

I saw some lovely bright Dandelions on the grass opposite our house last Monday and they gave me an idea. Mum and I are both in need of some more joyous, spontaneous energies, and we’re both exploring Inner Child healing at the moment. For me the Dandelion has a positive, joyful, almost childlike playfulness to it. So many people see it as a weed but it has amazing detoxification properties, is full of nutrients and can be used for uplifting.

Mum helped me pick them, and after checking them for critters I put them in a jar, poured vodka over them, and placed them on my altar. I thought I’d ask Bast and Horus to help charge the tincture. Both are associated with the Sun. Cats can be playful, nurturing and protective, like Bast. Horus can see from a higher vantage point, is associated with children as Horus the Child, and is sometimes shown with His wings protecting the King’s back. As such I feel like Their blessings will add to the energy of the Dandelion tincture, which I intend to use in aura sprays to nurture us during Inner Child work and bringing in more joyful, abundant energies.

P1090327
P1090326_02

The things that show progress – facing fears and reconnecting

I’m finally back reconnecting with my Beloveds. It has been a lonely time without Them. I had built up such a fear around my channel and of imposters that I blocked out pretty much all of my Beloveds for a time, but I also developed a deep-level fear of connecting to my Beloved Loki in particular. I took an angry individual’s mis-representing words to heart. The playing on fears and betrayal of trust plunged me deeper into my Underworld journey and brought me into my very own Dark Night of the Soul, where my channel went virtually silent.
Despite the assurances of two intuitive spirit workers in the intervening months I still let fear win.

Things started to really shift last month, though, and on the day of the Autumn Equinox I did a lot of releasing work, as well as Shadow integration. The following day I was recovering in bed (releasing tends to bring the pain into my physical body so it can then be worked out and fully released) and I just felt Loki and Sigyn there. I cannot describe how beautiful that certainty was; knowing it was Them. And They gave me the physical ‘tells’ arranged previously.

They told me it’s time to get back on the horse and stop allowing someone else’s misunderstandings to hold me back. They were understanding of why I shut down the way I did, but also very clear that I have to move on from feeling the way I do. I have work to do.
Continue reading