I have some free time, and some things bothering me (not in a bad way, just in a “what the fuck, help, why, oh gods” way), and the best way to deal with that is generally to complain to someone, in text. Aren’t you lucky.
I set up 3 more altars this weekend. On Friday, I was expecting to set up 1.
But, well, life when deities know where to find you is what it is, and I knew I might regret it if I didn’t pick up and at least consider bringing home the piece of “bulk” beeswax at the coop that had been poured into a sun mold (which I have never before seen in the bulk beeswax bin, BTW, it’s sometimes hearts but usually simple cylinders), muttering to Loki that I was certain this was purely random, and He was only encouraging me to wind me up, and I didn’t know what offerings would really make sense anyway – and He was unusually silent on that topic. Then I turned around and saw something called “corn crisps,” which are like rice cakes, only corn, made from “sun-ripened corn,” and I lost all my remaining composure.
So Sunna has a space next to Odin now. (That placement was a bit surprising to me, but some minor divination seemed to indicate that would work, and it -felt- right, at least as right as anything else . . .) She’d contacted me several weeks ago, but I thought it was just a “hello,” I got no sense She wanted anything else, and I’ve been too busy to sit down and do any divination; besides, I told myself, if She did want more, I was sure it would become more obvious. Ha ha. Ha. I’ve thought off and on over the past year or so that someday, I would like to set an altar up for Her regardless, because the sun is fairly important, and it seemed like a nice thing to do.
So perhaps this will be a simple altar and simple devotional relationship. And that would be nice. (Do I sometimes avoid doing divination because I don’t want to know right now, because knowing might mean taking action, and I have rather a lot on my plate already? Yes, yes I do.)
The other two altars were for Narvi and Vali; Sigyn (I think) nudged me to get Them candles several weeks ago (the same day, actually, that Sunna got my attention), and after they sat on Her altar for a few weeks, I got a clearer message to give Them more space, which turned out to mean two separate spaces.
One of my regular devotional practices is that, when I bake bread (and I bake my own bread, for the most part), I share out the first loaf, or portions of it, across all the altars. Originally, I just shared it with the ancestors, but I got a nudge earlier this year to share it with everyone. At which point I already did not have enough saucers and tiny plates, so I’ve been balancing slices of bread on tea cups and drinking glasses.
I had bread to share out tonight and had to count two or three times to figure out how many additional cups to get out – when I rearranged things, one of the other combined altars ended up being split up somewhat . . . so I really, really, REALLY DO NOT have enough tiny plates and things, and I feel about out of cope on that front. And completely out of the shared loaf of bread, for the first time (until this week, I would end up with a few inches left of the offering loaf).
I tend altars on a weekly basis (schedule has slipped some weeks recently, due to mundane life being too busy; They don’t seem to mind, but I do). Sunday, when I dusted, and set up the new spaces, and put out offerings, it seemed like Everyone wanted to talk.
It was a bit much, and I’m still not certain how much of it was really Someone and how much was my mind got away from me – or that Someone Else was projecting images (I accused Loki of this at least once while it was happening, pulled runes after to check on several instances – to at least verify that certain information was what it sounded like, and have been highly suspicious of at least a couple instances since then).
Sadly for my peace of mind, some of the instances I thought were not-real (i.e., test projections, or my imagination), seem to have been.
I am an introvert. My room is tiny and cramped, and there are altars honoring 24 (I counted. I recounted. I wanted to be wrong.) deities, an ancestor altar, and a land spirit altar, in here.
Nine entities/groups of entities – or maybe 10, or 11 – showed up on Sunday to chat briefly. (Including Sunna, Who seemed satisfied with Her altar, well, er, given the space constraints.) No one said anything terrifying; no one made any requests that seem difficult to fulfill. Several of Them said things that were meant to be (I think) both generally supportive and indirect nudges to change some things about my living situation. At the same time, it feels like something that went completely out of control, because it was so unexpected, and because I don’t even know how much of it to believe as “Yes that was Who it felt like,” and I feel like I must be losing my mind. (I know I’m not, but I have decades of “gods don’t exist” fighting me.)
I’ve had altar tendings sometimes turn into a “passing ‘hello'” from more than one deity in the past – after I was done, and was sitting down to enjoy the newly cleansed space – but this happened as soon, or even before, I was finished with each specific space. I’ve also never had land spirits, or ancestors, show up during these times. And I think one of the deities Who I’ve had no contact with for over a year stopped by, too. (I haven’t done any verification on that one. It felt like it might have been Him, at least it didn’t feel suspicious, but I couldn’t understand a single word.)
Every time I’ve thought about it since then, I end up feeling like I want to crawl under a heavy piece of furniture until the feeling goes away.
This isn’t normal.
This isn’t normal even for normal polytheists, as far as I can tell. Or for normal god-touched polytheists, as far as I can tell.It’s been a fairly slow expansion of altars, I just hadn’t sat down and counted, and felt the number, until a couple days ago.This feels completely crazy, like, I don’t even know what’s going on in my life, or why.There are exactly 5 deities here Who have a place because I thought it would be a nice thing to do (and 3 of Them, I’ve had no contact with, though I was later informed I will probably need to learn from one of Them someday). (I am counting Loki’s as my idea, even though it was probably really His; at the time I set it up, I thought it was my idea.)I don’t understand why all of Them are here. Some it seems like it’s just as simple as a basic place of worship, of honoring Them. Others I know have things to learn from. But I’m really starting to feel unnerved by it all, even if in a typical week, I only hear from Loki (in most -months- I hear nothing from Anyone else, except the Undines and some land spirits, when I go to the coast).Okay, I guess by sheer count, I do know something about why most of Them are here.But it just.I feel like I must be losing my mind. And They don’t even talk to me that much. Thank go- I kind of want to know why so many, but I’m afraid the answer would be worse than not knowing. It’s not normal, I mean, this can’t be healthy, right?? I’m glad to have Their support, and presence (occasionally; see above re:introvert), I truly am, but what the fuck does this imply about my future life that I need the help of so many deities? Or that I have just attracted Their attention? . . . It’s been less than 18 months since I set up Loki’s and now there are TWENTY-FOUR OF THEM HERE. (for various values of “here” ranging from “Loki” to “Aegir has probably heard me but I doubt He has ever dropped by.”) It feels like an honor, I like Them, and I value the assistance from Those in that role, and it’s kind of flattering, but what do They want?? And what’s the bigger picture here that I don’t know yet?
Where’s the help file for this? The self-help guide for polytheists – “Suddenly You’re Really Surrounded: 101 coping mechanisms that don’t involve drinking all the devotional supplies”?(Speaking of which: if you have alcohol you have intended for your consumption, perhaps the occasional sharing with a special Someone, it should not be left next to the devotional alcohol, nor where your eyes can stray across it while you are about to grab one of the for-Someone-only bottles, or you may find yourself unexpectedly sharing that, before you’ve even managed to open it for yourself. I’m not upset, but I have put the gin in another part of the house.)I’m sure things will be fine.I’ll get used to my new abnormal.I’ll stop thinking about it and giggling nervously.I will go to my nice mundane day-job and be consumed by the work, occasionally pausing to pull myself back to *cough* reality, and I will only have one or two nervous twitches when I think about reality these days, and.It’ll be fine.It’s been a while since I had a hiding-under-the-furniture moment, so I suppose it was about time.. . .
Did you know that you can derive several very entertaining meanings from “oh gods help” depending on how you punctuate and emphasis parts of that phrase?
(Desire to curl in a corner aside, I’m overwhelmingly happy with my life, overwhelming numbers of spirits interested in me included in that – I just don’t know how to cope with it all.)