My beloved Orlando passed away five years ago and there’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of him. He was a beautiful soul, full of character, and when I became ill at 17 he became my rock. We became so much closer after that, and he pretty much devoted himself to my care. Whenever he was in the house he would come to spend time with me, whether in my room or on my bed. We had a special bond that I will never forget and I like to honour that.
Although he appears in my Ancestor shrine I wanted to create something a little more personal. Where we are currently has wide windowsills, and since Orlando used to love gazing out of my bedroom window at the world below I thought it a fitting place for a shrine for him. I bought the ornament a long time ago because it looked like him, and so I decided to get it out again (it had been packed away) and place it with two of my photos. In January mum let me become custodian of Orlando’s ashes, so I placed them with the photos and ornament and now the shrine feels more complete. I am also thinking of making some memorial prayer beads, with a bead for each year of his life.
Creating a shrine for beloved pets is a really lovely way to honour them and their place in your life. I thoroughly recommend it.
(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, Northern Tamarisk, 2018
Although logically I was aware of the concept of different energies in devotional practice I didn’t fully, truly understand it until I experienced it for myself.
In fear (of a situation) we project a desperate energy, and we pray because we need something – security, love, reassurance, a sign, healing, etc. In love we project a far more balanced and open energy, and we pray because we love – because we’re grateful, because we feel blessed, abundant, secure or supported.
If I could give one tip to devotional Polytheists it would be this: cultivate a sense of curiosity. Your Beloved Deities are multi-faceted Beings, so become curious about Them!
Read about Them, connect with Them, ask Them things, choose something about Their myths that interests/intrigues/baffles you and research the heck out of it.
It’s one of the best ways to get to know more about Them, to build a stronger connection, and shows that you honour, respect and love Them.
Be curious about your Beloveds!
(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, Northern Tamarisk, 2017
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”?
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
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. 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
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.
I’m finally back reconnecting with my Beloveds. It has been a lonely time without Them. I took someone’s mis-representing words to heart. It plunged me deeper into my Underworld journey and brought me into my Dark Night of the Soul, where my channel went virtually silent.
Despite the assurances of two spirit workers concerning my connection (with Loki in particular) 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.
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.
A while ago I was gifted a deck of Hachette Egyptian tarot-type cards by a man whose witchy shop I used to visit. Unfortunately the shop had to close down, but I remember that little place of magic and mystery fondly. Anyway, back to the cards: I haven’t used them in a long time, and last night I felt drawn to use them again. The card that came up was Sobek. I wondered why the Great Crocodile had paid me a visit, and then I remembered that there is a Sobek devotional looking for submissions. So I have taken Sobek’s hint to share the link, and I will await to see if He inspires me to create an entry of my own.
We’re a month in and I’ve had some submissions so far, but I would love to have more. If anyone’s thinking of submitting something, please send it in! This devotional can’t happen without your submissions, so please get in touch. sobekdevotionalATgmail.com
via PSA: Send me things for the Sobek Devotional! — Per Sebek
I am a Spiritual Nomad.
There is no tradition where I hang my hat.
I answer the call of the Deities,
Following the path They direct me on,
Working with Whoever decides
To make Themselves known to me.
For however long or short
A time that may be.
I am a Polytheist, first and foremost. While I adore my Deities, I have come to feel constricted by indentifying myself so strongly with the Northern Tradition. The truth is that the Gods and Goddesses, the Spirits of the land, and the land itself are my belief system. I feel constrained by the structure of a path where I’m told the way I relate to my Deities is ‘wrong’ somehow. I feel like a butterfly pinned down while still alive, unable to spread my wings and fly into my own flow.
So while I respect those in the Northern Tradition for choosing one path, I realise now that it is not mine. Loki, Sigyn, Hella, Jormungand and Family remain my Beloveds, and They will continue to be much-loved and honoured by me. But the Tradition itself is not for me. I will continue to find pleasure and meaning in reading the Eddas, and pondering my Norse Beloveds, and I will continue to research Norse culture as I please. But the main words I am reclaiming for this are freedom and enjoyment.