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At every stage of my pagan journey, books have been an important part. I'm a loner and a do-it-yourselfer, so seeking out a person-teacher was something I never really considered. Add to that the fact that I discovered paganism in the 90s before the internet really hit it big, and books were easily the best option.

So we have several boxes of Llewellyn in the attic. Occasionally someone borrows them, and I would never get rid of them (they are books, after all) but I don't get a lot of use out of them these days.

We have also five full shelves of scholarly and modern heathen titles and three of Hellenic titles, and an uncertain number of Celtic and Egyptian texts.

These days I am more and more likely to go for a Kindle version due to aging eyes and the font-enlarging option on the ebook reader, but I really like a paper book I can hold in my hands.

I do find, though, that these days I find myself spending less time among the books (depending on what I am working on at any given moment, of course--certainly when I am doing ADF study program work I have stacks of books on hand at all times). A lot of this is just that I don't need them as reference as often as I did when I was less experienced. I don't generally need an external reference to write a group heathen ritual, I have written enough of them :); however, if I were called on to prepare a group Hellenic rite I would want to look over some references, because I haven't done one in over a decade. Sometimes it's that I've already read everything I can find on a given topic.

But some is that, for one sort of reading, the internet has in great part replaced the book: anecdotal material and personal experience. I have a few books featuring this sort of knowledge (for example, Being a Pagan by Ellen Evert Hopman and Lawrence Bond) but they were rare, and I suspect they are rarer now.

Actually, a lot of the books I buy now happen to be self-published, which is a wonderful thing--there are so many people with good information and knowledge to share whose work would never see paper if not for self-publishing. And not for a lack of quality--it's just that many of these books are never going to be of broad enough interest to attract a traditional publisher. But if you are someone who is interested in their comparatively narrow subject matter, they are like gold.
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The project for Aphrodite about which I wrote earlier? I've begun it. It isn't a big thing, really quite a small and simple thing, but I think that's all right.

I wasn't really sure what best to call this. "Hearts of Aphrodite" came to mind, as did "Aphrodite's Bottle." I haven't decided yet. So I suppose I will just describe it.

I am putting a blessing bottle on Aphrodite's altar. It will hold little folded-paper hearts, like so:

little hearts

On each heart will be written the name of a person; the ones in the pic are for my immediate family, and I'll be adding hearts for other family members, friends, whoever seems to belong there or to need to be there. I know a lot of people. :)

The bottle, as you can see, is pretty big (for comparison, it is sitting in the middle of a big old comfy chair):

heart bottle

And the hearts are clearly quite small:

heart bottle closeup

(Actually they are rather a cross between a heart and an arrowhead, either of which is appropriate.)

In any case, and as the reason for this post, I want to offer this to the community as well.

If you would like the name of someone you love (romantically, platonically, familially, whatever sort of love you feel) to be included, let me know and I will add a heart for them.

I want to keep this loose and easy, so here are a few bullet points to prove I still know a little html :):

  • Mine is a private home altar intended solely for personal use, maintained consistently for over a decade but not affiliated with any group, or official in any way.

  • I am not a priestess of Aphrodite, only a dedicated devotee.

  • I am not a mystic and am quite limited in all areas of woo. I don't do magic, I don't do spirit work; I pray and I talk to the gods.

  • I am a hard polytheist and a semi-reconstructionist; however, to the best of my knowledge there is no historical basis for this.

  • Obviously, there are no promises or guarantees of any sort. :)

If you would like me to add a heart or hearts to the bottle, here's how to let me know:

Email (hearthe at gmail dotcom) or message me here with the name or names. I don't need a full name or a "real" name but I do need it to be identifiable in some way.

For example, "Robert Jones" or "Robert Michael Jones" or "Sue Jones' Grandpa Bob" or "Ravensong's Grandpa Jones" or "Sue Jones' paternal grandfather" or "Ravensong's Grandpa B" would all be fine ways to identify the same person. Similarly, "Anne Martin," "Ms. Martin who taught Jadefire in first grade," "Ms. Martin from Tuscaloosa Elementary" "Jeannie Smith's first grade teacher" and so forth would all work for the same individual. (The paper isn't infinitely long but I can write pretty small. :)) It just needs to have some specificity.

A religious/spiritual/magical name is fine, as is an internet name if you and/or the person often go by it.

The subject line should include the words "APHRODITE'S BOTTLE," ideally in all caps.

Only send the name, nothing else. There may be specific reasons you wish this person well, but Aphrodite blesses us all as she deems fit.

It is absolutely fine to send your own name. :)

Once the name is in the bottle, it cannot be removed. If I add your best friend's name, and two weeks later she does something heinous, I cannot take her name out.

If you have a color preference, let me know and I will try to honor it, although of course I'm limited by what I have in my supply basket.

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While looking over some pictures I realized I had never taken any of the current setup for my Kemetic altars. So here is one of each of them:


The above is my shrine cabinet, usable at all times (because I need that :)). The top shelf holds Heru-wer/Horus the Elder, Wesir/Osiris, Aset/Isis, Heru-sa-Aset/Horus the Younger, and Sekhmet. The middle shelf holds Yinepu/Anubis, Djehuty/Thoth, Taweret, and Bes. The bottom shelf holds Wepwawet, Hethert/Hathor, Bast, and Tefnut.


The other is my (not often used) Senut shrine, holding my lineup of Wepwawet-Yinepu, Hethert-Sekhmet, Bast and Tefnut.
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I am a big fan of altars, I truly am. Just click on the "altars" tag attached to this entry to see pictures of some of the altars and shrines I've had over the years.

As a visual person, I find a lot of inspiration and comfort in having these physical signs of devotion in sight; they are a frequent reminder of the role of the divine in my life. Technically I have seven altars or shrines upstairs and three downstairs, which sounds more overwhelming than it is. I use them all differently and relate to each in its own way.

For this post, though, I am going to talk about some of the practical aspects of having an altar or altars.

The finding and using of space.

Most of my altars and shrines are on top of furniture--chests of drawers and bookshelves, mostly. A couple are inside furniture that isn't being used for other things, and I have one small dedicated shrine cabinet. The main issue with this is that there are only so many surfaces in any home, and unless you live alone, some of these surfaces will be required by other people who need flat spots on which to put their keys or loose change or hairbrushes or coffee cups. There will be complaints if you try to claim too much territory, and it won't be pretty.

If you do live alone and/or have the space, you can have more dedicated pieces--I have seen pictures of tables, desks, cabinets, many pieces of furniture all being used to wonderful effect as shrines and altars. I've heard that some folks have an entire room dedicated as temple space, which would be lovely but not really doable for most of us.

A shelf hung on a wall can also be a good altar if it is in a low-traffic area. (I recommend against the wall directly beside one's bed, speaking from the personal experience of having a constant bruise on my right hip until I moved it elsewhere. :))

A plaque or wall-hanging or picture can be a shrine, depending on how you plan to use it--the hekataion at my front door is a plaque, and I say a prayer there every night. For these, you won't be able to leave offerings (or candles or incense) at the site but offerings and prayers can be made in other ways.

The finding and using of stuff.

If you looked at any of my altar pics you will note that I do, in fact, have a lot of stuff. However, I did not get it all at once; I accumulated it gradually over the decades. Some of it, I made. My Aphrodite altar is probably my oldest continuously-maintained shrine, but it is much, much fuller now than it was fifteen years ago. My Unknown Goddess shrine is my newest, but it contains a lot of things I already had on hand. Sometimes you can have a thing for years before you know why you have it.

What goes on my altars, anyway?

This really depends primarily on how I plan to use the space. I do keep a multipurpose working space; most of what is on it at any given time is whatever I am using. I don't tend to leave tools on an altar--usually I bring them out if I am going to need them, and keep them stored away otherwise. It's on the top of a chest of drawers and I keep tools and so forth in the top drawer (the rest hold clothing).

I like god-images. I really like god-images. Did I mention that I like god-images? Not everyone does, YMMV.

If it's a dedicated long-term shrine there will probably be gifts on it; Aphrodite has quite a bit of stuff, statues and jewelry, scented oil, books, stones, shells, shawls, jars, things I made for her and things I bought for her. My general Greek altar is made up of statuary but has gifts on it as well for some of the deities, likewise for my Kemetic altars. However, the "stuff" in the Kemetic altars stays there and is not used elsewhere, while the "stuff" on the Greek altar that isn't a gift (i.e. incense burners, candle holders and so forth) can be used elsewhere; gifts, of course, belong where they are and stay put regardless. (That difference is based primarily on my own UPG and sense of what's wanted.)

And just because this has been covered a lot online lately: food and drink offerings for the Kemetic gods, I consume after some time has passed; food and drink offerings for the Greek gods, I pour out.

I've always built altars visually, but my most recent one (the unknown goddess shrine) has insisted that everything that's not stuck on a wall be something I can pick up and touch. I'm not sure why that's important, but it is. I can use it in the dark or with my eyes closed. :)

An altar doesn't have to be forever.

Not only can altars change over time, they can also end. If the reason for the altar no longer stands, it is all right to (respectfully and mindfully) take it down.
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This shrine is located in the left-hand side cabinet of a very old buffet, most of which is used for clothing.

The first pic, I took with the flash on; it shows what's in there but it's usually a lot darker unless the lights are on:


This one is with the lights on and is a lot closer to what I see when I am in front of it:


And this is the "ceiling" with three of the four light strings on, because I just like how it looks:


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I think I am going to do the Pagan Blog Project (which you can read about at http://paganblogproject.com/?page_id=742) because I think I need to jump-start my brain. Just a bit. I am going to begin it, in any case; have begun it, if you read my last entry.

I signed up via my tumblr at http://fieldandfire.tumblr.com/. I'll also be posting at my wordpress blog at http://fieldandfire.wordpress.com/. I do not actually use these blogs (like, ever :)) but this seems like the right sort of thing to put in those sorts of places.

And I suppose I'll keep posting them to DW and LJ as well. Because there is nothing like a little redundancy here and there.
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Of course A is for Aphrodite, of course Aphrodite comes first. Aphrodite always comes first. She turned me into a hard polytheist, she turned my practice into faith, she turned the possible into the certain.

Fifteen or so years ago, I had a lot of questions about why, of all the gods, I would hear most strongly from Aphrodite. I was a married mom of two young daughters, I never wore makeup or styled my hair, I hated heels and hose and bras, dressed for comfort rather than style, didn't care for traditional romance or depictions of it and found love stories tedious regardless of the medium, tended to forget my own anniversaries, and put a very high value on time spent alone. I just didn't seem the type. (All those things are still true, by the way.)

What I did have, however, was a high sex drive and an appreciation for the transformative qualities of ecstasy. Without that, I think my spiritual journey might have stalled out early on. Aphrodite provided (and provides) for me an anchor, a sure and solid presence that is always there. Everything else fades in and out of shadow. Aphrodite alone is constant; my sense of her may ebb and flow but she is never absent.
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Sleeping is my new hobby this year, I am doing a lot of it :).
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I finally finished the backdrop for my "senut shrine." (I drew the figures by hand with pencil and ink, scanned them, colored them and scaled them down on the computer via GIMP (allowances I made for my aging eyes :)) and had them printed on photo stock online at Deviant Art (because my actual printer isn't always reliable). It is, at present, focused on Hathor and Bast and has a handful of useful things on it, the rest are in a basket underneath.

Here's a front view:


And because the backdrop is also on the sides of the shrine box, here is a left-hand view:


and here is a right-hand view:


It has, I hope, a kind of a simple and straightforward look to it; if I sit on the floor in front of it, it is at eye level. When not in use it is curtained off (you can see a bit of the cloth in some of the pictures). Also, there are (in addition to the two statues) forty-four different gods pictured on the backdrop!
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Here is a slightly blurry but the best I could do pic of my Aphrodite altar in its current state. The larger pink bottle holds lustral water, the smaller one holds water lightly scented with rose oil.

I've been doing the daily devotion from Laurelei Black's Cult of Aphrodite. Two thoughts. One, a splash of khernips to the face in the morning is a real waker-upper! And two, the bit where you kneel? Not doable for me, I guess no matter how young I feel, my knees have a different opinion. (I can kneel, it's the getting up again that is the problem :)).
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To Wepwawet, Opener of the Ways, I offer my praise.
O great god who stands at the fore of the sun-barque,
watchful and wary one, first to set foot on hostile ground,
first to go forth into battle, warder of the standard-bearer,
companion of kings, bearer of the cudgel and the shaft,
piercer of flesh, crusher of bone, you walk with the seeker
and the wanderer, you follow the unseen path, you unlatch
the hidden door. Well honored you were in Asyut, city of wolves,
O Wepwawet of the keen eye and the sharp tooth; well known
you are by those who seize the gifts of life, the joy and the sorrow,
the flood and the drought, the chance firmly taken, the risk understood.
Yours are those who search, within and without; yours are those who strive
and fail, who strive and succeed, who look beyond the garden wall
into the wilderness beyond. Teach me to stand firm-rooted,
to bend with the wind; grant to me your wisdom and your grace.
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At some point I decided the term for someone like me was "multi-faith." (Derived from "dual-faith," which was what I used before the others showed up. :)) I like it well enough although I have also seen it used for gatherings among those of multiple faiths, so it is not perfect and may already be taken. I've also seen the term "polytraditional" which does go nicely with "polytheistic," but I don't care so much for the term "tradition." Multireligious? Polyreligious? What I say to myself is that my head is full of gods, but while that is descriptive, it is not succinct.

This isn't about that, though. This is about what it's like to practice more than one pagan faith/religion/tradition. Specifically, it is about what it is like for me, personally, to practice more than one pagan faith/religion/tradition. Nothing prescriptive, no comment on the practices of others, this is how it works for me. Keeping in mind that I am a low-woo person whose practice is first and foremost about practice, and that I find it most comfortable to keep my pantheons and practices separated.

I've already written about the details of what I do here, which I think defines the What and the Where. Here I want to get more into the Why and the How.

When I say "balance" with regard to my different practices, that doesn't just mean that my life regularly involves a bit of work with each god, or even each pantheon. To some extent that is true. I do say daily prayers and so forth; it doesn't feel right if I forget. That, however, is a What.

At times I do feel like I have a sort of spiritual balance in my days, at least in terms of my practice, my base level of interaction and connection with deity. Practice is mainly a head thing, and a head thing can be planned for. Practice keeps me going, it keeps me flexible, it keeps me in spiritual shape. It is steady and reliable. It is the fuel that feeds.

At other times I am overwhelmed with a god, or with a group of gods, just blinded by them to the point where I can't think of anything else. I write and write and write, hours, days, weeks, until I think the words are gone, and an hour later they're back and so am I. I study, I think, I pray, I draw, until I am exhausted. I stay up too late when I'm in the midst of it, and if I wake up in the middle of the night I go downstairs and am back at it. It is actually kind of wonderful when it happens, although I think it would exhausting as a full-time state of being. What it means, though, is that this sort of inspiration/passion/compulsion isn't something I can schedule or plan for; it isn't steady and it isn't reliable. It isn't an all-the-time thing--it can't be--and although I know there will be an end to it, I know also that it will be back again. It happens when it happens, and because of that I rarely say no to it. It is the spark that ignites.

So, while practice is more or less in balance, inspiration is not. Can't be. Inspiration is very much all or nothing. Sometimes the all is for a short time, sometimes it lingers, but always it is so sweet and sharp and perfect and beautiful that it's worth any wait. (Okay, waxing lyrical again, I will rein that in. :)) But it does mean that sometimes I'll be expending all my extra energy in one area. The practice goes on as always. But the inspiration--when that's in play, it feels like what I am doing is all there ever is, all I should ever be doing, all I'll ever want to do. And that is so clearly not the case. After all, love is a verb, and that is so with the love we have for our gods as well.

You know, I think perhaps on the whole the inspiration is reasonably balanced as well, but it never, ever seems that way when it is in progress.

All relationships are unique, each connection exists in its own space and follows its own nature. So I'm not going to say simply that I interact with the Greek gods using one model and with the heathen gods using another, etc. It's not so, or at least it's not that direct, although as someone with a recon leaning I will say that I make use of some commonalities (for example, I pour out libations to the Greek gods, I may or may not share drink with the heathen gods when I make an offering, and with regard to the Egyptian gods there is reversion of offerings so that's its own thing) in terms of ritual structure, calendar followed, and to a lesser extent types of offerings made.

Aphrodite was the first, I have known her the longest, and what goes along with that is a certain level of ease and familiarity. I am (in a manner of speaking) a child of Aphrodite and I know that; I may be atypical of her children, but that makes it no less true. As for how this affects other aspects of my spiritual life, well, for example, certainly the presence of Aphrodite is one of the things that precludes my ever being other than a Kemetic divined Remetj; she is not always first in my life, but that space needs to always be available for her, because sometimes she will be, and that is non-negotiable.

And there are times when the Greek gods as a group are front and center, insistently.

And there are times when it is the heathen gods who are most there, and who want things done.

And there are times when the Kemetic gods are everpresent and always with me.

Those are heart things, inner things, things that have a drive of their own.

My practice, a head thing, goes on, always, because it can--and it is the wheel I use to steer my ship, the oars I use to power it when the wind is down, I could not do without it.

The heart things--the inspiration, the drive--are the sails, they catch the wind and the vessel flies. Of course, if there's no wind at the moment, you aren't going anywhere without the oars.
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I have, well, a lot of altars. I would probably like more.

My general altar, set up for general use and/or druidic ritual, has a statue to represent the nature spirits, and a book of names to (pretty directly) represent the ancestors; a bell, a candle (for fire), a clay cauldron (for the well) and a picture of the World Tree on the wall (for the tree). I also keep my stuff for my daily prayer to the Celtic and continental Germanic gods (the basket of names, book of prayers, book to record my prayers and a pen). Any other tools are in a drawer underneath. Oh, and my cards for Temple of the Twelve. And whatever else I am currently using. This is as close as I have to a working altar, and I am at it on a daily basis.

My Hellenic altar has statuary of many of the gods (Hestia, Zeus, Hera, Poseidon, Demeter, Hades, Athena, Apollo, Artemis, Hermes, Aphrodite, Eros, Ares, Dionysos, Ariadne, Hekate, Persephone, Pan, Helios, Selene, Gaia, Tyche, Nike, Asklepios, Heracles, Hebe, and a framed picture of Hephaistos), electric candles for lighting, a candle to light during prayer, and a book of prayers and a calendar. Some of the statues have gifts near them, a prayer card and a necklace for Hekate, a necklace for Ariadne, a set of beads for Dionysos, several clay votives for Asklepios. The space is pretty well filled up but I could still squeeze in a thing or two if necessary. It doesn't see a lot of actual use so I suppose I should really call it a shrine. It takes up a lot of room and is always there, kind of like the gods themselves. :)

My Kemetic shrine cabinet has statuary of Wepwawet-Anubis, Hethert-Sekhmet, Bast, Tefnut and Heru-wer; I drew a backdrop including fifteen gods, and there are prayer cards by the statues of Hathor and Bast. The cabinet itself isn't big enough for much else, but I do leave offerings in it occasionally, and on top I keep a candle to light during prayer and an incense burner, and I keep a book of prayers in front of it. (My calendar and other tools I store underneath.) It's used at least a few times a week, depending on the calendar.

My other Kemetic shrine is currently "under construction" because I'm working on a backdrop for the "walls." It contains a blue lotus incense burner, candle, offering cup and plate, and a framed picture I drew of Ma'at. It's curtained off with a turquoise cotton cloth. I don't use it much, due to wanting to keep it in a specific state of purity; that may change after I put up the backdrop and perhaps meditate before the imagery, but I will probably continue to focus on the shrine cabinet.

My Vanic shrine has a statue of Frey, two statues of Freyja, a cat pendant with a bit of amber, a Freyja pendant with a bit of amber (the Borda one), and two shawls I knit for the gods (green with a leaf pattern for Frey, gold with a heart pattern for Freyja). I don't use it much and it is possible that this is a temporary space.

My Sif and Thor shrine has statues of Sif and of Thor. (It's a new shrine, not much there yet.) Again, it may be a temporary space, but I am giving it time.

I don't currently maintain a general heathen shrine or altar--I usually go outdoors for offerings and prayer to the heathen gods. It just seems like a better connection that way.

By the front door, at the base of the stairs, I keep a plaque of Hekate, and every night I say a prayer and kiss my hand to her.

My Aphrodite shrine has four statues of Aphrodite; a dedicated salt lamp I keep lit; four pink electric candles; two necklaces I made for her (including the first piece of jewelry I ever made, with pearls, garnets, rose quartz and gold beads--I made it back when gold beads weren't super-pricey); two shawls I knit for her, one of which is draped over the largest statue; a very simply hand-bound book of prayers to Aphrodite I collected early on and wrote in rose-colored ink (the cover is cream-coloredpaper with rose petals embedded in it while the inside pages have flecks of metallic gold--my first attempt at book-binding of any sort); a set of pink Olympic oracle stones I made, in a marbled pink cloth bag; a silver candle snuffer carved with roses; a shell filled with pieces of tumbled rose quartz; a glass jar of dried rose hips; a small scented candle in a jar; a pretty little Aphrodite shrine cabinet that once belonged to the lovely [profile] awakening1; a wooden tile bracelet with images of Aphrodite; two Aphrodite prayer cards; a pink domino mask with black lace and silk flowers; a reproduction of a Greek pitcher/vase with Aphrodite and Dionysos pictured; a set of cowrie shells to work the "Aphrodite's Eyes" divination; and a ceramic incense burner in the shape of a pink lotus flower. The shrine gets sporadic but active use and is very, very important to have.

You'll notice that one of those paragraphs is a bit longer than the rest. One altar is more crowded than the others. There are more things on it.The Aphrodite shrine has, of course, been in progress for nearly 15 years, and since it's dedicated to a single deity there is more room on it for stuff. There is more of a "hum" about it, at least to me. Every so often I see something and think "ah, I should get that for Aphrodite!" Every so often I think of something to put on the shrine and go get it. If I learn a new crafting skill, I want to make her something. In the sense of change I'd say the Aphrodite shrine is the busiest of my shrines and altars (although in terms of use that would be the Kemetic shrine cabinet because so much of what I do in that context is shrine-focused, while the Indo-European types never really seem to take up residence like that and are happy with outdoor offerings).

I have on occasion considered establishing other single-god shrines but they never "took." (This is probably not a bad thing, a house has only so many surfaces, and other household members tend to object when there's nowhere to put their stuff.) There are other deities I pray to on a daily basis, other gods I feel close to, to the point that I want to do more for them. None of these have become permanent shrines. And that's all right, I think. Sometimes a dedicated space is there for a temporary reason. Sometimes it's all right to set up a shrine and see what happens--maybe an established shrine isn't the best way to connect with a particular deity or deities. You don't know until you try, and if it's not meant to be, you'll know it, and I don't think the gods object to a little trial-and-error when the goal is finding a way to reach them.
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Everyone is doing it, so why not?

In the morning, when I wake up, my first prayer is chosen randomly, or as random as random can be; I draw a name from a basket of god-names (mostly Celtic, some continental Germanic) on the altar, and say a prayer to that god. (This process is the end point of a project I worked on for well over a year, and while it seems to be complete, never say never.) (If I won't have time for this in the morning, I may do this the night before, before bed.) Today I prayed to Mogons.

I check my calendar, and if it is a feast day of a particular deity (Egyptian or Hellenic, I keep two calendars) I light a candle and say a prayer to that god or gods. (Again, if it's going to be an on-the-run sort of morning, I'll do this the night before.) Today I prayed to Tefnut at the Kemetic altar, and to Artemis at the Greek altar.

Later in the day, sometimes just before bed and sometimes earlier, I say my daily devotion to the heathen gods, my daily devotion to the Hellenic gods, a prayer to Brigid, a prayer to Aphrodite, a prayer to Zeus, a prayer to Bast, a prayer to Hathor, and a prayer to Sif.

On my way up to bed I say a prayer to Hekate and kiss my hand to the hekataion at the foot of the stairs by the front door.

When I go to bed my last thought is of Aphrodite, as I look at the lamp I keep lit on her altar.

That is it, ideally, for a normal, everyday day when I don't take on any additional tasks.

Other religious or spiritual things I might do on a given day: study, read, write prayers or other liturgy, knit altar cloths, lead heathen ritual with my kindred, do personal and/or seasonal ritual at my druid altar, attend online chats with co-religionists (more social but still in the spiritual realm), or make some sort of addition to the pagan internet (which, honestly, isn't all that often).

If I feel called to do so I might pour out additional libations or light incense. Doesn't happen too often.

Once in a blue moon I might do a bit of divination, but the older I get, the less interest I have in that.

I have a devotional tattoo on my left wrist and will eventually get at least two more, there is no hurry on that, though.

I keep a number of shrines/altars around the house: my shrine to Aphrodite, my large Hellenic shrine, my Kemetic shrines (one in a cabinet, one curtained off, if nothing else this keeps them clean!), a Hekate plaque by the front door, and two heathen shrines, one to Freyja and Frey, one to Sif and Thor. I also have a working altar for SDF rites. Yes, there is usually a bit of dust on these; no, no one seems to mind it. If I am pouring out libations or making other biodegradable offerings I do that outdoors.

I am, FWIW, a mostly-headblind hard polytheist with an almost entirely devotional focus and a long-term dedication to Aphrodite; I am multi-faith, a heathen, a Hellenic polytheist, a free-form druid and a beginning Kemetic. (Last year I turned 50 and my spiritual life exploded, mostly in a nice way.) I keep these practices separate from one another, as for me it just seems like the right thing to do.

I do not spend all my time on specifically spiritual concerns; that's not the sort of calling I have experienced. Most days I spend more time occupied with the worldly world than elsewhere. I interact with friends and family, husband and kids. I watch mindless TV and bad movies, read the internet, wash dishes, make dinner, do laundry, waste time on Facebook, have friends over to talk about the day's events and what's going on in the community. But I try to live my life ethically and with integrity, I try to be a good person, and although I don't wear my faith on my sleeve(s), I am about as public about it as an intensely private person can bear to be. :)


Jul. 25th, 2013 04:03 pm
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For anyone of a Druidic bent, the Solitary Druid Fellowship has its liturgy for Lughnasadh/Lammas/etc. up. I'm not doing it quite yet (it's not time) but I wrote out my adapted script; I will be honoring Lugh and Tailtiu. (Current plan is to honor Gaulish gods at the solar festivals, Irish gods at the fire festivals.)

BTW, SDF is Indo-European Druidry (affiliated with ADF) so not just for the Celtic-focused. Just FYI.
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Laurelei Black is building a temple for Aphrodite, and you can help--donations are being accepted via GoFundMe at


This is such an important work, please consider donating if you can. (Or, if you can't, consider spreading the word!)

As a long-time devotee of Aphrodite, I can't begin to describe how happy the idea of a real-world temple for the goddess makes me. :)
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I've finally finished writing my massive devotion to Kemetic gods. (Yes, I know that 44 couplets isn't all that massive in this context, not really.) It took quite a while, choosing epithets, deciding on order, and general writish stuff, but at the end it went quickly. The specific mix is the one that seemed right to me; also, there is a smattering of Greek name forms in there, in those cases where that seemed right.

Wepwawet, opener of ways, granter of choices,
unfolder of options, I praise and honor you.

Anubis, measurer of hearts, friend of the dead,
warder against the dark, I praise and honor you.

Hathor, lady of gold, mistress of joy and pleasure,
steadfast friend of women, I praise and honor you.

Sekhmet, most mighty and most beautiful of gods,
healer of humanity, I praise and honor you.

Bast, devouring lady, mistress of truth and light,
preserver of the family, I praise and honor you.

Tefnut, lady of the waters, bringer of rain
to the dusty land, I praise and honor you.

Shu, lord of the air, steady and still of bearing,
master of the winds, I praise and honor you.

Heru-wer, great of terror, lord of flame, granter
of a heart bold and brave, I praise and honor you.

Ma'at, daughter of creation, ideal of the worlds,
mistress of the right, I praise and honor you.

Djehuti, great scribe of Ma'at, master of the pen,
lord of truth and wisdom, I praise and honor you.

Seshet, lady of names and numbers, mistress
of records, keeper of time, I praise and honor you.

Great Ptah, merciful of face, friend of the maker,
whose words work upon the earth, I praise and honor you.

Sokar of the opened wings, lord of the dark,
master of artisans, I praise and honor you.

Wesir, beautiful one who rests upon Ma'at,
lord of the silent lands, I praise and honor you.

Aset, queen of heaven, mistress of magics,
upholder of the good, I praise and honor you.

Heru-sa-Aset, master of magics, just one,
savior of your father, I praise and honor you.

Nepthys, mistress of renewal, friend of the dead,
easer of sorrows, I praise and honor you.

Set of the red land, before whom the sky shakes,
breaker of boundaries, I praise and honor you.

Nut of the sheltering sky, who holds a thousand souls,
lady of the starry night, I praise and honor you.

Geb, first and eldest of kings, deep father earth
who marks the joys of life, I praise and honor you.

Ra who is in heaven, who is in the horizon,
giver of light and life, I praise and honor you.

Khepera, ancient one, bright-winged one, wise and shining
heart of the morning sun, I praise and honor you.

Heruakhety who crosses the sky with incense,
great god of the horizon, I praise and honor you.

Amun, self-created one, king whose name is hidden,
protector of the humble, I praise and honor you.

Beautiful Mut, world-mother, mistress of heaven,
shelter of children, I praise and honor you.

Taweret, friend of women, friend of the home,
guardian of the family, I praise and honor you.

Kindly Bes, guardian of home and family, granter
of life's many joys, I praise and honor you.

Neith, friend of the weaver and the warrior,
great of might, ancient of name, I praise and honor you.

Sobek who made the herbage green, lord of dark waters,
mender of a damaged world, I praise and honor you.

Khnum of the crumpled horn, self-created one,
worker upon the wheel, I praise and honor you.

Khonsu, path-finder, night-shining one, healer
and guardian, friend of women, I praise and honor you.

Nefertem who is beautiful, lily of the sun,
lord of healing, lord of scent, I praise and honor you.

Serqet, mistress of the beautiful house,
protector from poisons, I praise and honor you.

Mafdet, slayer of serpents, mistress of justice,
allotter of penance, I praise and honor you.

Meretseger, great of judgment, guardian of kings,
lady of the great peak, I praise and honor you.

Maahes, lord of slaughter, avenger of wrongs,
opposer of evil, I praise and honor you.

Montu, battle-wise, great bull who meets all foes,
might of the blasting sun, I praise and honor you.

Bountiful Min, virile and strong, lord of the black earth,
the swell of tender green, I praise and honor you.

Renenutet, lady of the fertile fields,
namer of children, I praise and honor you.

Mighty Heka, lord of magic, speaker of words,
placer of the ka, I praise and honor you.

Wadjet who guards the green, warder of the red crown,
protector of children, I praise and honor you.

Nekhbet, mother of mothers, broad-winged goddess,
keeper of the white crown, I praise and honor you.

Atum of the dark waters, O great he-she,
first among the gods, I praise and honor you.

Great Nun, father of fathers, mother of mothers,
you from whom all arose, I praise and honor you.


Apr. 3rd, 2013 06:11 pm
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Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? (I actually did because I have a daughter in middle school, and they know these things.)

And are you familiar with November's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) in which the blogosphere explodes into prose and word counts? (Of course you are. :))

Well, I just learned about NaPoWriMo. NaPoWriMo doesn't have word counts, it has a fairly lenient goal of "write a poem a day," or "30 Poems in 30 Days."

So, I am giving it a try on my mostly-Celtic prayer blog, Fieldstones. (There is also a Tumblr of it at Fieldstones at Tumblr

I'd love to know if any of you all are doing this as well!


Mar. 28th, 2013 04:47 pm
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My first tattoo, a gift from elder daughter :).

Eye of Horus Tattoo
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1. Stay in motion!
2. Seek to be honest and truthful with myself.
3. Do what I need to do to stay functional.

Simple and to the point, no?


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May 2017

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