We’re getting a lot of really great submissions and we’ll be posting them at regular intervals. Keep’em coming–it’s great stuff and we’re so happy people are both enjoying it and finding meaning in reading the daily accounts of what others do!
When I was directed to shave my head the first time, I missed the point. I knew what the reasons behind the directive were, but I didn’t get it. It took place at a weekend-long Beltane celebration in 2007 and it was my first time attending a pagan event with the intention of participating in and embracing the ritual aspect of it. The head-shaving happened on Sunday, the last day of the event, and took place in the driveway of the farm hosting the weekend, as that was the closest source of electricity. My teacher at the time buzzed off my long mohawk with clippers and we bagged up the hair. One bag went to my then teacher, one bag went home with me, and one bag went to a person who had a significant role in my life at the time. That person stepped up next and took off what hair was left behind by the clippers with a razor. I grinned the whole time, as it felt incredibly freeing to be completely bare to the world in that specific way.
As our mission statement declares, here at Gods’ Mouths 2.0 we have a deep interest in how people live and practice their spirituality, their magic, and how they conduct their devotional lives, if they have one. We place a high value on diversity in practice and identity, as well as authenticity in the way of being true to ourselves to to what we desire spiritually and/or magically, as well as being true to what our Powers desire of us, if we interact with the Divine in that way.
With that in mind, we are launching an ongoing project called A Day in the Life. We want to hear about what a day in your spiritual, magical, or devotional practice looks like. We’d love for you to share what you do on a ‘normal’ day or what you do on a more special day. Do you interact with your Powers on a daily basis? Do you work your craft in the evenings or the mornings? Have you found a sacred space out in the world that you spend time at regularly? Do you struggle to maintain a daily practice? Are you working to find a path that feels comfortable to you?
We want to hear all about it, and we want to share it with the community of readers that visits Gods’ Mouths 2.0.
As of two days ago, I have found myself in an interesting and somewhat unexpected position. Okay, somewhat unexpected may be the understatement of the year, but that’s neither here nor there. It’s not surprising to me, but it was not expected in the least.
I was going about my regular life the other night and was speaking with a friend and colleague about my new business venture that I am getting close to launching. We were chatting about how I was planning on offering some divination services in line with some other spiritual services when it happened. The conversation totally got hijacked by the Powers That Be. It went from ‘I think this is what I might do’ to my friend telling me ‘So, this is what you need to do and, huh, there’s Someone telling me you need to do it’. This is how things tend to unfold in my life—something run-of-the-mill is happening and then it suddenly takes on importance in a way that I neither expected nor asked for.
it was immediately clear that this Someone was not one of the Powers that I usually work with. That in and of itself was quite surprising, as I have essentially been on deity lock-down since I began walking this path. My Patron has seen fit only to let me converse with and Work for Him, two other Powers that I had sworn an oath to at one point, and another Power that had a prior claim. Imagine my surprise when Someone Else came knocking.
Over the course of two days, my friend and I spent about six hours trying to figure out who He was. She got the visions and the conversation and we both sat and revved up Google to try and find a name to what He was describing Himself as. He didn’t make it terribly easy, as He does not appear to be a big talker and because He seemed to find amusement in my frustration, but we worked pretty damn hard and I think we figured it out. I’m not 100% certain yet, but what we managed to piece together both did not get dismissed out of hand by Him and absolutely fits with what He has said and how He presented Himself.
It appears that I have been handed over in some way to an Orisha. There are many things that, if I think rationally about them, are unsurprising. I have been pushed for years to explore African Diasporic Religions [ADRs]. I practice traditional African-American magic. I have had the privilege of meeting quite a few Lwa and Orishas. So, you say, what’s the big deal? It’s kind of lined up for me, isn’t it?
The catch, at least to me, is that I’m white.
We who consider ourselves god-touched are often at a loss as to how to explain the peculiarities of our lives to friends, family, co-workers or maybe even co-religionists who do not share our peculiar circumstances. Fear of being criticized, mocked, dismissed or disbelieved keeps many of us from talking about our experiences. It’s easy to believe that you are the only one who hears the voice of the Holy Ones, who feels the spirits’ presence in your surroundings, who speaks to the dead, or who has those crazy dreams or weird synchroniticies, especially when you’re surrounded by other people who quite obviously don’t, or who may even sneer at those who do. This is a shame. It would be wonderful if we lived in a society where people were accepting without being judgmental about other people’s lives, but we don’t. So the question for most of us is, how open should we be about “this god-touched thing,” and how much information is too much?
I have tried here to capture the experience of “surfacing” or “coming out of the trunk” during a deity possession or “horsing” as it is generally known.
Sleep, Wintersong. Go back to sleep…
Distant voices, deep in conversation, rumble in the void like thunder beyond a clouded horizon. Wrong, this is wrong. A splinter of consciousness whispers into the dark that I should be without thought or form. Stubbornly, I cling to the fabric of the nothingness that envelopes me, like a war torn child struggling to stay buried in dreams of a time before blood and fire. The voices grow clearer one voice mine and yet not mine, and I can feel the words carving groves in my mind, and know that these scattered words will be waiting in my memory when I wake. I don’t want your words, they belong to you, not me.
by Alex Bettencourt
Note: this blog entry contains descriptions of violence and assault that may be distasteful and triggery.
I work a difficult day job. I work with the lowest of the low, the people who, in the eyes of modern society, are disposable, forgettable, and beyond any type salvation, be it spiritual, personal, professional, or societal. It is a dangerous environment to be a part of in all interpretations—physical, emotional, spiritual, and even professional. I have had my life threatened, the lives of my family threatened, my health has been compromised, my professional reputation and credibility has been attacked, I’ve witnessed all manner of violence and crime, and, to top it all off, I don’t get paid that well for it. In fact, my field is the lowest paid field in the umbrella of human services. I made almost twice as much when I worked in the private sector. I am almost constantly frustrated, emotionally exhausted, and despairing of both what my clients do and what they’ve been through.