I’ve quoted this poem many times on this blog. I think I am finally beginning to understand what it means.
You do not have to be good. You do not have to be special. You do not have to have a god-phone, or a shamanic crisis, or a great epiphany.
You do not have to be a witch, a psychic, a sorcerer, a mystic, a shaman, a spirit-worker, or anything in particular, to approach the gods. You only have to be human, and willing, and courteous.
Bring an offering. It can be a cup of pure water, a tea light, a stick of incense, a portion of your meal. Pray aloud, using respectful words.
“Do ut des,” the Romans famously said: I give so that you may give. It might also be said: “I give because you have given.” The powers give blessings. Humans give offerings. It’s an exchange, a cycle, like the water cycle, or the conservation of energy and matter.
While I was writing this post, my pet cockatiel came to sit on my shoulder. He gave me a long serenade of clucking and whistling, pressing his face to mine and lifting his wings in a heart shape. This was nothing but a demonstration of his affection for me. We have been flockmates for fourteen years. I hope it does not seem blasphemous to say that if we can bond with animals through giving them food and drink, satisfying their needs for touch and companionship, and appreciating the ways they show us affection, we can bond with the gods in much the same way, sharing our food and drink with them, showing our reverence and devotion as best we can, learning from one another.
I don’t see visions of the gods. I don’t have voices talking in my head. I do feel things. Very subtly. A feeling of presence and of approval. A feeling like being nudged, or steered, or perhaps led in a dance. I never learned to follow as a dancer, but I think I am learning to be led in the dance by the gods. I am learning to let the soft animal of my body love what it loves.
Read Full Post »