Juggling Gods and Spirits

One of the things I have been struggling with for a bit is working with so many gods and other entities. At last count, I have seven deities that I work with on a semi-regular basis and a handful of spirits that I interact with or work with, too.

I’ve tried assigning my deities and spirits different days of the week that correspond with them (Anubis for Monday due to his lunar aspect; Wednesdays for Odin as it’s named for him, and so on) but because I’ve assigned each day of the week away, I don’t have time for myself in the week-to-week calendar. And what if something happens that keeps me from being able to do my duties, such as has been happening the last few weeks?

As I was sitting in my car earlier today, it really hit me. I had just decided to attend an open circle this Wednesday for Midsummer and was going over what I might wear to suit my comfort level. It was as I was going over my devotional jewelry that I realized I didn’t have any pieces for a number of my gods: I’ve my new ankh for Anubis; stag earrings for the Stag Queen; a silver ring that I wear around my thumb that is embossed with a raven, normally for The Morrigan but can pull double-duty for Odin since I have my skull bracelet for her and as a memento mori. But nothing for the others I work with; nothing for Hekate or Persephone, for Thor, and nothing specific for Odin.

Realizing this, I began to feel somewhat stressed. It felt unfair, of sorts, to wear devotional jewelry for this circle for half my deities but not the others. And then I stopped and realized that this isn’t what I should be focusing on. There are better ways to work on this dilemma and to decide if this even is a dilemma.

Think of the act of juggling. You are balancing a number of balls (or pins or whatever else) and trying to give them all a little effort. But you can only work with one ball at a time; only one is in your hands at any point in the circle. When you get better at it, you begin to give some balls a little more oomph now and then to mix it up. You start working with different balls at certain times and going back and forth. Sometimes you add more, sometimes you take them away. And sometimes you drop one. But that’s not the end of the circle. Someone else could come over and pick up the ball you dropped and toss it back into your juggling. You might decide to leave it there until you start again or you might decide to take a break. Or continue on without stopping until you can work that ball in again – if you even decide to.

And it’s that image that I need to focus on a little more. Dropping a ball isn’t the end of the world; paying a little extra attention to another isn’t, either.

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5 Responses to Juggling Gods and Spirits

  1. Aubs Tea says:

    I do this a lot, too. I have jewelry for each of my gods (except Djehuti and Aset). And I often feel guilty for feeling the need to “choose” one over the other.

    • I think I just need to focus on cultivating my relationships instead of trying to make them all equal. Some relationships are going to be stronger; some are going to be more casual. I gotta remember that.

  2. I think this will always be one of my biggest challenges as part of me also strives to ensure that what ever it is I do for the gods / spirits, that it is done with up most thought and fine detail. As if that time spend searching out and development somehow builds to a higher level of dedication and significance. This also extends to things like ritual wear, jewelry, offering plates, candle holders etc for only the use of chosen deity. To some extent I make my choices upon requests as they come through, to another I favor the stronger bond at that time. With Anpu as one of my gods, I found your approach quite interesting. Thanks for your perceptive on such a challenging part of the hard polytheist path.

    • Since I work with so many gods, it’s difficult to have individual spaces for each of them. Especially since I am still looking for a job and I share a small apartment with another person. So individual spaces will have to wait some time, though I’m working on a separate space for Anubis and any other Kemetic deities that may show up.

      Small things, though, like the prayer beads I’ve been working on, are easier to do for each individual deity. I’ve got my fingers crossed that I’ll be able to work on more for the rest of my deities (Odin is waiting semi-patiently for his, so he’s up next, I think.) and then have individual representations for each of them in that manner. But, until then, I need to find a new balance between them all.

      Thanks for your comment.

  3. Pingback: Everywhere, Everywhen. | Artificer and Arbiter

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