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.
There is an energy in devotion, and there are times when everyone needs some help or reassurance. When these moments come it can be easy to get caught up in the fear, but if we can learn to balance it with our love and respect for our Beloveds this can help us to stay better connected to Them in times of upheaval.
In fear we can ‘forget’ about our feelings towards our Deities because the panic is so centred around our own experience. If we can take some time to centre, and try to really feel that love for Them at the same time, it can help. We won’t be projecting so much desperation, helping us to have a more open-hearted, centred connection to our Beloveds even while we are afraid.
They always hear us, but with that love present to balance the fear it can allow for a better connection. It allows us to continue with devotional practice in a more heart-centred way while not pushing down or ignoring our own feelings or situation.
(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”?
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.
Sigyn is the Pole Star –
Lady of mercy,
Well of compassion,
She is the hand
That holds ours
In times of sorrow,
The hand that
Leads in the dark
She is the Keeper
Of all we hold dear.
She keeps it safe
When we cannot
Hold it for ourselves.
She is the rose
With heavenly scent,
Heart and mind,
Tending the soul,
In Her gentle
She is the light
In the dark,
The guide, the spark
That guides us home
To our Self.
She loves us,
Foibles, mistakes and all.
She always leads us home.
(c) Michelle Gilberthorpe, Northern Tamarisk, 2017
We moved house on 6th July. We left the home and garden that nurtured and nourished us for almost 14 years. If we could pick them up and move them closer to the new area we would have, but we could no longer stay.
We’ve moved to a different area of the county, one closer to the main city. We need the opportunities it provides, the better transport links, the better and more varied health and wellbeing facilities, and more groups so we can experience more of life again. While the area we had been living in for the past 20 years has some beautiful countryside it is a deadzone when it comes to opportunities for me and my parents’ growth.
The house and garden we left had looked after us well, and I miss our lovely Elders, Hawthorns and Blackthorns. To thank them all I did a Despacho-type ceremony on one of the few dry days of our last week there. I used some pink handmade fair trade paper to represent the love and appreciation my parents and I feel.
The flowers were all from the garden, and I also added some dried Rose petals and Lavender. As is customary I also added lots of sugar, and some mini pretzels to represent never-ending memories.
Mum also came to see it, and added some pieces of Lavender and more sugar.
Afterwards I meditated with the Despacho for a while, then wrapped it up and buried it behind the Plum tree. I offered some potato vodka and the rest of the pretzels.
Here are some photos:
For my Danish Great Aunty Else, who had a wicked sense of humour, loved Robert Ludlum books, Midsomer Murders, Chinese food, ‘collecting’, birds, and her family.
May you be held
In comforting arms
As you go
Upon your way,
May you leave
With loving thoughts
And memories of better days.
May you always be remembered
In our hearts
And in our prayers,
As you take
The next step
On your soul’s
Flight of stairs.
She will now sit with her sister, nephew and parents in my family shrine. I have a wooden comb she gave me when I was 8, and will always think of her when I use it.
May Brighid’s fires strengthen, inspire and renew you.
Prayer to Brighid
Heal that which tires.
May your burning flame
Bring a poet their name.
May your forge
Ever shape us anew.
Copyright: Michelle Gilberthorpe, Northern Tamarisk 2017