MWD: Understanding & Companionship

My Month of Written Devotion is for the Spirit of the Santa Clara Valley

Whoops, I missed Tuesday’s post entirely didn’t I? Well, here I’ll do the 14th and 15th together then:

Understanding & Companionship

Understanding? Hmm. The difficulty with writing about a relationship with an entity that is less concretely personified than most of the gods I work with is that it’s hard to articulate anything on the topic of Her “understanding” of me, nor mine of Her. So what is my understanding of our relationship, then?

I… well… I guess… we’re sort of… married?

Only there weren’t really vows, so “Spouse” is not quite right. I suppose I’m a Consort. She’s not the only power I’m a Consort to, but She’s the only one I’m consorting with primarily in a male mode. Hell, I barely understand myself relative to Her. As an entity I’m not sure it’s fair to say I understand Her much at all.

But She does seem quite understanding about my frequent flailing on the subject, so there’s that…

(“All who love you are understanding of flailing, love.” Aww, thank you, Lon! <3)

Companionship? What is the difference between “relationship”, “companionship” and the next prompt, “friendship”? Part of me asks in terms of what these prompts are trying to get at, making such distinctions, but then it occurs to me immediately…

Wait, what distinctions AM I making here?

I just said I guess I’m a “Consort” but not a “Spouse”. What does that mean?

I get argued with over that one, by both Freyr (and some but not all of the other Antler Brigade), and I sense from my Lady. They have indicated, at various times, that They consider me a Spouse. Or rather, They don’t agree with the distinction I’m making between “Consort” and “Spouse” because to Them I am Spouse/Mate/Consort/Emoted-concept-that-unpacks-to-many-words-and-none and They don’t get my hangups about it.

But to my mind, I can’t be a Spouse if I haven’t made specific vows that I’m agreeing to be bound by, and that also requires at least some witnesses, if not general public acknowledgement.

They humor me. Understandingly.

So fine, I’m a Consort not a Spouse – what do they have in common that some other term doesn’t cover? What makes me a Consort instead of a Priest[ess] or Friend or Daughter or…?

Partnership? Intimacy?

What do those mean when one of you is non-corporeal? (Well, non-human-corporeal, anyway, in Her case.) How do I live with Her when I quite literally live in Her?

A student in one of the rounds of a Trance Class I’ve helped teach described the Gods as “practicing hierarchical polyamory with teeth!” She was referring to the way the gods sometimes seem to get into sorting out who comes first, when, and where in our lives.

My Heart’s Delight has never, that I’ve ever seen, seemed to need to get into that with the other Powers in my life. If there was a pile of negotiations between Her and the Antler Brigade, or Freyr in particular, or Freyja as my main gatekeeper, or any of my other gatekeepers, I’m totally unaware of it.

Maybe They had to come to Her?

I just heard a “Nope” and sense Freyja shaking Her head. The Antler Brigade seem impassive as I try to check in with Them about it.

I know it’s not really words, but it translates to me as “Where there is mutual understanding and acceptance, there is no need for negotiation.” My relationship[s] with the Antler Brigade is entirely compatible with my relationship with my Heart’s Delight. There is no conflict of interest, so there is no need to stop and negotiate or establish any hierarchy of privilege. Okay.

As for the others, each of those gatekeeping relationships is over a different aspect of my life. It seems my Lady is the Queen of Her very own domain in that regard. She rules my relationships with the landspirits and local plant and animal spirits, I suppose? “Yes.”

Why have I never sat down to suss all this out in more technical detail when so much of the rest of my spiritual life has prompted charts and shrines and projects to try and make some kind of cohesive sense of it all? It’s like my spiritual blind spot. I’m so comfortable here I don’t pay atten… ah. Because being comfortable here is the point. This IS home, and what is home if not the place where you don’t have to constantly question how you belong there?

You know I only just realized that I don’t have a designated shrine for my Lady at all? What would a shrine for Her even be, but a tiny symbol when I’m standing right in the middle of the actual? I never had a shrine as a Pantheist for that very reason, I suppose. Why put a cup for water in the swimming pool?

Wait, I know the answer to this already, don’t I? It was right there in front of me, and I missed it because I was still in denial when it came up. (Oh who am I kidding? I’m still in denial now. Except when I’m not. Argh!)

A few months after the ritual journey that brought me to Her, I dreamt of speaking with a man who was married to a land goddess, and asking him if he lived on his beloved land, if he considered himself married to the land itself or a spirit of the land, or what, and if he had a map with the area in question outlined upon it.

Huh, okay. Is this a wall decoration or an altar cloth? I keep seeing it large and framed, but where do I have room for that in the temple…? I could put it behind my computer, but that’s the wrong direction. Wait, why do I think it should be on a Southern wall? Oh, that’s the direction of the house I grew up in, and beyond that, the major body of fresh water we connect through the most strongly. Riiiight.

So, really, my Lady… She’s the kind of Germanic local land goddess tied to the fresh water that the Romans later called the Matronae, isn’t She?

Perhaps, and others may call Her so, but that’s not our relationship. I may use that name for the Heides if I like, or for the collection of local land Powers other than Her, but not for Her.

Well okay then.

I’m still not sure where I’m going to find the wall space on a Southern wall. I’m pretty sure She doesn’t expect me to tattoo it on my body like Lon just suggested, though! That’s the sort of thing a Spouse would do.


P.S. Lon is doing it too! 😀

About EmberVoices

Ember Cooke has been a member of Hrafnar and Seidhjallr for more than a decade, where she trained to be a Seidhkona, Galdrakona, and Gythia. She founded the Vanic Conspiracy and made ordination vows to the Vanir and her congregation in the summer of 2013. She has contributed to several publications on Heathen and Northern Pagan subjects and regularly presents rituals and workshops at festivals. Her personal practice is more diverse, as the Vanir have lead her into cross-training and service for the wider Pagan community. This has including medium and servitor training in American Umbanda, clergy training with the Fellowship of the Spiral Path, and jail ministry for local counties. She holds a BA with honors in Religious Studies from Santa Clara University. Ember has lived all her life in the south San Francisco Bay Area, and is intimately bound to the valley of her birth.
This entry was posted in Gnosis, Land Spirit Work, Mysteries, Personal, Polytheistic Theology, Praxis, RedWood Vanatru, ST4R, Trance Work and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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