I’ve forgotten this for a few days, sadly, but I have a couple of thoughts, namely on the past month. I haven’t been into Halloween as much this year as I have been in years past, and I have since been unable to determine why. Perhaps I want to just get to Christmas already and feel like my world is happy and warm and content as winter sets in (remarkably early this year. I hear it will be colder than last year, and I’m not looking forward to that). I’ve never been into Thanksgiving, and don’t give it more thought than “I will probably make something nice that day I’m not sure”. It isn’t that I am ungrateful, I am quite grateful, but my mother has always loved Thanksgiving and it has this undertone of “be thankful that I am your mother or you’ll be sorry!” to it. I had Thanksgiving one year with a friend’s family and I was shocked and overcome with how warm and inviting the atmosphere was. It felt as though this whole huge family was there just to be there, and I loved it so much. My own family never felt like that, and I don’t remember it from holiday dinners with my mother’s family. That is, however, the feeling I receive from my gods. So, I will cook something nice this year, and share it with Them, because I love Them.
The second thought is, I saw a post (https://riley-poole27.tumblr.com/post/188823229297/hypervigil-theyve-always-said-when-you-feel-a) which suggested that not a person, but a rabbit, crossing your future grave caused a shiver down the spine. I had always heard otherwise, but this gives me some life and hope. I hope Andred’s creatures have found a nice spot for me. I wonder if I will find it before I die. I wonder if such a thing can be divined. Probably.
I think, in aggregate, I am moving away from celebrating any warped concept of “family” I developed growing up, and into celebrating my gods (and with my gods). Feeling Their energy and reveling in it and believing that the world is right. It’s certainly better than allowing my parents to live in my head without paying the rent or utilities.
5 thoughts on “Rabbit Rabbit (Nov. 4, Good Luck Still?)”
Hi! I’m happy that you are working with Andarta – it’s so great when They have the love They should! I really don’t know if She and Andraste are the same. I feel pretty sure that They’re not the same as the Gaulish Goddess with the same name, because it is a linguistic root that makes a good name for a battle deity. I don’t think there are Celtic “pantheons” – the Tuatha De are a literary convention. Why would someone in Co. Mayo honor Boann, etc etc. It all seems very tribal and that the ruling elite were considered descendents of the deities of the tribe. At least in Ireland, new tribes used Christianity to cement their rule over the 4 sections, which had been held by tribes who used divine ancestors to validate rule. The Romans ended the Southern Gaulish tribal leader ancestors skull shrine and worship. But when it comes to Britain, I don’t know if it’s one Goddess spelled two ways, which is common in some other case, or two distinct ones. Since Boudicca was praying on behalf of more tribes than the Iceni, I think that She was known rather well in southern Britain. Celtic tribes did tend to federations which would have warriors together.
The hare and bunny are I learned really different from each other. Personalities are different. Rabbits are generally fearful and run away. Hares have the whole “March madness” of fighting. Last I knew, it’s actually the female fighting off the male trying to mate, but people thought it was two males fighting for a female. They pound each other senseless with their powerful legs. I think that’s why the hare is associated with the warrior Goddess. I can’t find any connections with rabbits and war, while the English March hares “boxing” is common folk knowledge. (The Easter bunny was the German Easter hare originally. I think it’s because they are so aggressive in March.) We have snowshoe hares and never see any box, but they seem solitary, because every year one lives under a building and sometimes has her young. I know that everything was pretty practical for ancient Pagans, so the crazed English boxing hares fit a warrior.
I would find it odd if the same deities worshiped by the Iron Age Celts who are very guilty of major deforestation especially in Britain and Ireland would be protecting forests. I know people left offerings to Gwyn ap Nudd in the name of His lady love before entering His woods, but it’s a common tradition worldwide to make offerings to Whomever is the “owner” of a dangerous place. People who made the offerings wanted protection from boars and other animals no one worries about anymore. The “not human world” until recently terrified humans because of predators and places to get lost in wilderness. Domestication was the main goal of Bronze and Iron Age Celts and since our species stopped gatherer-hunter lifeways, it’s been the main goal. Break the will. Domesticate. I read that’s the meaning: break will, and will and wilderness are related, but I don’t know if it’s true. But our species has been destroying the forests and owning slaves since agriculture began. With it comes wars for more land – agriculture raises the human population 900%. But that’s not even 95% of human history. We normally keep our population down to what the immediate bioregion can support.
I don’t think there’s any historically documented ecologically sound agricultural people. Surplus food creates have and have nots. Women become baby makers (worker makers). The semi-nomadic gatherer-hunters didn’t want to carry heavy stuff so communal property was necessary. Women breast fed until age 5 which kept the population low. Groups were 25 people or so who probably wintered with other bands.
It’s hard for me to be a polytheist when I know that it was a different time, a time of clearcutting, of choosing a few seeds with which to cover land and destroying the vast diversity of foods that didn’t domesticate as easily, the castration of male animals which probably changed the psyches of human men, and the constant warfare for natural resources. It is the same as today.
But if the reasons why we worshiped SOME of the big beings and not others was because some are more helpful to humans, while others don’t care or notice us, or actively dislike us, then it follows that the deities have changed to meet current conditions. I tell deities about today’s problems especially if They are newly recovered. Deities want to help humans. The solutions They espouse today aren’t going to be what humans needed 2000 years ago.
Permaculture and indigenous technology, truly sustain a technology (solar panels don’t count) where any one can make it with local things and teach others to make it – that’s sustainable. I doubt electricity is possible but I grew up without it and it’s not needed. We didn’t have running water either and again, it’s not needed. With the mass damage done by WiFi and cell towers in wrecking the planet’s EMFs that animals use for migration causing migrations to be a mess, it’ll be good when those end. Sweden has great studies on it and a ton of European cancer specialists asked the WHO to say the proven research: adult brain tumors never existed before cell phones. Only as secondary tumors. Permaculture always fits the place, and some land does best with goats, sheep, cows – pastoral animals. It won’t grow monocrops. A lot of sustainable technology is stuff you can make with trash like old tv satellite dishes make fantastic solar cookers.
The world has changed and human problems have changed. The deities are supposed to be the ones who love us. I wouldn’t worship a punishing deity who hates me. I believe that the deities are helping us to help ourselves as They always have. Permaculture, upcycling, research about plastic and pesticides and GMOs and EMFs actually getting to people in a time of military -industrial science, indigenous technology, rewilding, rooftop gardens (which lower the temperature, “living machines” ie plants dealing with all water treatment (a Superfund Site was cleaned up this way), that sunflowers and lupine pull radioactivity out of soil (but are radioactive waste themselves), Transition Towns and all the amazing Bioneers – I believe that is the deities. They’re still trying to give us a hand. There’s SO MANY EASY THINGS we can do that start it going. An indoor red wiggler composter. Collect rain water. Grow flowers bees need with seed bombs/ balls. Guerilla garden. Pick up trash. Don’t use plastic. Don’t use a cell phone. Plant a nut or fruit bearing tree.
It doesn’t change the world to do one thing, but one thing becomes 10 things if you study. The idea that the planet is battling humans and we’re a cancer etc is about modern ideas that started in the Neolithic and got really intense by the Iron Age. I used to be paralyzed with depression about drowning polar bears. How did self loathing (misanthrope means I’m included) help anything? You obviously know tons of the problems challenging us. Maybe you would be inspired by all the amazing ecological solutions people are doing? Or ways neighborhoods are addressing domestic violence without cops and jail, like in Harlem friends move into the family’s home and stay and keep watch 24/7, or the success on Cree reserves using restorative justice not punitive? There’s a lot of people living in “half the old world to pay bills and half in the world we’re building” as a woman at a permaculture meeting said, giving anyone who wanted it some elderberry tonic. Sadly, Trump would have been a spectacular Celtic chieftain in the migration period. He’d be the perfect Pharaoh. The Greeks knew that the Iron Age was the least humane.
Restoring relationships with the Fae I consider ambassador work. Everyday until the world’s pollution became too much for my immune system, my devotional practice was picking up trash, eating some weeds along the way (communion), and planting native heirloom seed flowers for bees and birds. I figured that they would trust me more if I acted on my religion. I developed meaningful relationships with a skunk, a nettle patch, and my red wigglers. I found amazing jars! And bones! And it didn’t matter to me as much about corporate filtered media which never reports on people just getting off their bums and solving problems. Neighborhoods getting broken bikes and parts and teaching kids to build bikes they take home. The free cow heart (organs are sooo good for you) that grass fed organic small farmers will give you for free (grind it and mix with ground beef). The brown space in Austin that was cleaned totally with fungi, plants and maybe minerals that became so safe it’s a community garden. How to build floating islands that use plants to purify the water. How to make nontoxic art supplies. It proves to the Fae that you are trying to be a real Good Neighbor.
And there’s media about the successes! Detroit is what’s happening and it’s off the radar. NYC in the “NYC is Hell” 70s started tons of illegal community gardens that now are legal. It just won’t be on the news. Once you know that the news will always be the same, it’s much more exciting to be involved in the Great Change. Instead of doom and gloom, it’s doom and bloom. The grief work is well discussed in that Buddhist woman’s books on the Great Turning. I forgot her name. JUdith…. Radical Ecopsycholoy is a great book. Unlearn, Rewild is fantastic. Emergent Strategy by adrienne marie brown is fantastic. Starhawk’s book on collective leadership. Looby MacNamera’s “People and Permaculture” is a little fluffy but good for applying the principles to life.
I had friends who we re all mothers. Mother’s day in the lower East side in NYC they had a free teach in with people who taught about breast feeding, making cleaners that won’t cause asthma, dealing with schools if your child is in “special education” , people helping mothers fill out forms for free milk or legal aid to help get child support (that’s the mother’s job, to hunt the guy down and beg for the money) – no one told them to do it. The media would make you think you’d need funding and etc etc. Nope. See a problem, fix the problem.
And I think Ra and Andraste are still on the side of human survival and that we’re hear to act on Their wisdom. You sound like you have great gut emotional awareness of the problems, which in itself can be “the message” in spirit work. I was grabbed by Freya and a lot of my work is practical ecology and prisoners (addicts/ people who needed mental health services) – it’s healing. The future won’t be the past or present, but I like that no matter what one’s circumstances, they can choose their values and just do something that fits them. The deities are practically screaming at us to do Their work, the same work that is our gift, or core self. Polytheism gives us so many ways to rejuvenate the planet because we all have different gifts and needs, and some deity will grab the right one for a project of theirs. It is living devotional polytheism, and it’s great to remember that there’s millions of people who are Solutionairies on different issues with different gifts.
With harvest death seed rebirth deities, the thing that’s destroying Them are GMOs, where the seed is not from the harvest. Also 3 generations of GMO food in mice causes steril ity. So that’s Demeter, Persephone, Ishtar and Tammuz, Isis and Osiris, Kybele and Attis, Aphrodite and Adonis, Frey and Gerd, Nerthus…
With Andraste I imagine that She’d be against the 1% who control everything. I noticed some Celtic and early Germanic deities had very bad feelings about anything that seemed like the Roman Empire. Imperialism. Some understood the 1% of Americans in prison as slaves taken from Gaul by Romans. Lots of prisons were plantations and people working as telemarketingservices making 50¢ an hour with no sick days etc take jobs away from other people because who can compete with prison where people sew Afghanistan military clothes for 12¢ an hour? Andraste was invoked by a rich elite Boudicca to prevent her people, her raped daughters and herself slaves. There’s more slaves today than ever before. 1 in 4 women and 1 in 6 men are raped. 1 in 100 Americans are starving prisoners, far more than ANY nation. Small family farms are destroyed by corporate agricultural companies. Neighborhoods are gentrified. That sounds like a job for Andraste! And if devotional polytheism is to be Their hands and mouths, there’s so many ways that you can embody Her! (Ra is harder for me because He’s so all encompassing! But the growing deserts I’d imagine would be an issue, so saving water, reusing grey water, planting trees to hold top soil, etc seems good. Maybe in the huge Egyptian.. .. Revolution protest whatever that was 10 years ago was Him trying to get humans in a better place.)
Anything you creates the future, and I seriously doubt that Andraste has the same ideas for a Priestess today. She’s probably very happy to have anyone!! You get a lot of attention and help in serving Her! From Her today.
The whole “my deities are NOT like my human parents” is such a major hard thing for most people. Congrats on getting there. It took 10 years of regular ancestor work before I didn’t kinda hate them. Yelling at the tombstones of the ones who hurt me and my mother actually caused an amazing shift. Finding Soul on the Path of the Orisha is my favorite ancestor book. But I haven’t finished Daniel Foor’s. This stuff is a problem for all religions actually.
Like the Australian Deep Ecologist said (whose name I can’t recall) “We are the rocks dancing.” You’re nature. And don’t forget that the system is set up so you can’t l ive perfectly pure or we’d be doing it! You can just bloom where you’re planted and that makes more of the future we need. adrienne marie brown has a great saying about how big shallow changes in society ( “mile wide, inch deep”) do nothing. But inch wide, mile deep, that’s our chance. Deep changes where we are, with our friends, with place, with the spirits of place including the ancestors. I figured out Celtic Reconstruction Paganism only by thinking “What would a Celtic person in the Catskills/Hudson Valley do?” And it was mostly animism and developing a good relationship with the river Goddess. It became more and more practical.
That’s how I deal.with these times. Pollution has made my mast cells hyper-reactive and I have not left my room in years except for the doctor and I rarely can find safe fabric to sew clothes from, the air and water purification isn’t enough, I can eat 5 foods, have chronic fatigue syndrome and Dercum’s disease, endocrine system wrecked, and I already am in the dystopian future. My neurological system is slammed by ink or tape even, seizures. I can’t have guests. So as permaculture says “The problem is the solution.” People in prison understand my situation much better than outside people who have options.
I hope you know that you’re not just seeking; the world seeks you!!
Ack, my tablet is not in great shape (electronics are sprayed with insecticides and when they heat up they release the chemicals and I get really sick, so mine tend to be used and worked to death) so I didn’t catch the autocorrect typos! Oops!
First of all I want to say that from the sounds of this comment, it looks like you’ve read through much of my blog, and if so, I greatly appreciate it. Andraste asked me to start the blog primarily as a means of getting the word out and chronicling my process, learning as I go and sharing that with the world. I’m glad it’s reached somebody, and I hope it reaches more people.
I’m not sure if Andarta and Andraste are the same, and I’m not sure if it can be proven they are, but I do know ideas spread, and I’m sure people who understood what “Andarta” meant as a name would be like “that’s a good name for our goddess, too”. Like in the flesh world you sometimes run into people with your same name, sometimes spelled differently, and some names are more common than others. (Similarly, the hare vs bunny distinction is harder for me to maintain but thank you for sharing your experiences with that. I’ve come to expect that She communicates in the most expedient manner possible, because there are messages to get across, things to say, things to do. Perhaps it is related to a phenomenon John Beckett noticed related to the Morrigan. His Patheos blog is here: https://www.patheos.com/blogs/johnbeckett/ I highly recommend it.)
“I wouldn’t worship a punishing deity who hates me.” You understand it. I had this problem with the Christian God not as a punishing deity (although this is true), but because I was told at a young age that he was constantly scanning people’s minds looking for sin (specifically, he was scanning my mind looking for sin. I only unpacked that a couple years ago). Plugging Beckett again but he likes to point out that the Gods are virtuous, and that virtue is inherently good, not merely good because a God is doing it. Courage is a virtue, full stop, not merely because certain battle Gods embody it. (I particularly appreciate your thoughts on Andraste’s opposition to the top 1%, and if you don’t mind, I would like to expand these into a post of their own. As to Ra, a text known as “The Monologue of the Creator” (the Creator is sometimes Ra, sometimes Amun, Khnum, or Thoth depending on who you ask) states, “I made each man like his fellow, and I did not command that they do wrong. It is their hearts that disobey what I have said.” This may help you understand better.)
I greatly appreciate your input here and though I am in a data-collecting phase for this year (the hardest parts of winter are around the corner where I live, much as I wish it otherwise. But alas…), I will definitely be considering it. I am glad to be sought, but I will also continue to seek, as I know I don’t have all the answers, and I don’t think anyone does or ever will. (“The Gods have their virtues. Transparency isn’t one of them.” – Another Beckett plug. I’ve really been into his writing lately and I recommend, if you can, his Paganism In Depth book.)
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Yes, I read a bunch of your blog because it’s interesting! After 35 years immersed in Paganism, it seems like there’s been a swing away from people sharing experiences. It used to be that you couldn’t be solitary, you couldn’t be queer, you could be eclectic, the infamous Witch Wars of the 80s, and now it’s not okay to DISCUSS things, it all is “we value healthy debates.” Debates are about winning . It’s competition not cooperation. If someone is sincerely in a devotional practice, I like to know what it’s like for them. Why are we supposed to do it secretly? Why are old answers more important than new questions?
If you have a relationship with a deity we know very little about, odds are that you are going to have experiences (UPG) that could that deity about TODAY’S world. We have problems today and our deities haven’t been consulted for solutions in thousands or a dozen centuries of years. They’re of the world, I want Them involved in the present. I love researching and writing about barely known deities and religious practices, but it’s so They can connect with modern devotees and help us with the balance of a thriving diverse wholistic ” spiritual ” community. (I have trouble with saying spiritual since They’re such a strong presence in every moment, and spiritual kind of implies that we’re separated from Them.)
You are courageous enough to be on the quest. You are brave enough to trust a Goddess to put so much private information public. You have real belief, real trust, real willingness to do a blog She asked for. You humanize the experience. Maybe someone will read this and think “Oh, I wanted to honor this rarely known deity but I didn’t instantly figure it all out. But it looks like I don’t need a PhD dissertation. Not knowing is okay.”
They’re deities; we’re not going to know Them on every level in totality! We don’t have minds that could do that without split asunder, we don’t have communities that can help people who do get an overwhelming experience, we don’t have the skills that let’s say a Druid or a Sumerian Priestess observing the planet deities would have had, we’re all figuring it out.
If She’s going to say something to say, odds are that you will be who She’ll tell. You don’t write like every fart is an omen, so I am inclined to trust what you get. She told you to blog about Her and your relationship. Yes, you will get the parts of Her that are for how She needs to work and you’re the mortal with some quality that matches a need She has. It’ll be your relationship, but it’s more information than anyone else has! So I want to see how it develops! A deity asked you to do something and you’re not sure where it’s going, but you’re doing it, and there’s some way it’ll serve you both. I think that is fascinating. People usually only share their personal experiences if they have achieved some fame promoting themselves as spirit workers, no other UPG allowed.
And I do believe that academic study is important, but without devotion, what’s it matter? The deities sit on a self gathering dust? They’re able to finally reach us again and the huge changes in society means that Their needs and goals will take a new form to be actively engaged with us.
I want to know what She takes you. We care about many similar issues and how She guides you through the world is going to be interesting. How will you change? It’s exciting! What challenges will you face? What can help someone going through something similar?
Oh, sure, run with whatever my comment sparked. They are your thoughts. I have actually been struggling with Kemetic religion because it seems kinda like there’s one all important God, and the rest are lesser than, like monotheism with God as Batman and there’s tons of Robins. And each city has their own version of that. I haven’t read anything about Their relevance today, and while there’s great books of Recon rituals and ma’at as the guiding principle and the hilarious Book of the Dead rewritten as a Duat travel guide, I have trouble finding modern theological writing by Kemetic devotees to send prisoners. And I don’t think that Egyptologists understand polytheism so it’s slanted to fit their natural subjectivity.
Your blog is helpful. You are cronicalling (brain fog spelling) something that lots of people I would imagine are doing too. How is Paganism going to grow if there’s no room for the process?
The hare/rabbit thing I think is also different now because of the continents we’re on. Most Americans don’t have hares. We don’t see them box, which is big in English folklore. The Greenwood Tarot had a great image of it. But we see bunnies all over.
Like Groundhog Day is really based on an English animal not found in the U.S.that comes out of hibernation in early February. Groundhogs are true hibernators – unlike bears they won’t wake up and go eat and back to sleep. Their heartbeat slows way down. And in the US one is electrically shocked awake to do some version of something in a totally different Bioregion. Groundhogs don’t have much even in common with the English animal. But European immigrants kinda tried to apply what they knew to nature back home to here. So the Easter Hare of Germany is the American Easter bunny. The whole reason why hares are in people’s heads in March is lost on an American.
It’s like all these myth experts who had never been north, decided that Bilfrost which is sometimes here, sometimes not, in three colors, was a rainbow, when it’s the Northern Lights: white, pink or green. The three colors. But since none of them ever saw the Northern Lights, why would they know what to call it? Meanwhile if you live up north and have the Northern Lights and it’s so amazing, you wonder “Why aren’t they in Norse myth?”
Bioregions just are different.
Hi, I bought Beckett ‘s book. It’s hard to find things beyond the 101 and rehashed topics so thanks for the lead