Settling In

Well, I’ve more or less officially made my move to Vancouver.

More because I’m finally here and have few reasons to leave, and less because most of my stuff isn’t here and because I do still have reasons to leave. (Like going back down to Oregon to go get my stuff, traveling back to CA to see family as often as possible, and just generally taking advantage of this transitional period in my life to see some sights and visit some places through Cascadia.)

But the hubs and I have finally gotten ourselves the apartment that we’ve been dreaming of, the one we plan on staying in for the next decade until it’s time for us to leave the city and head off the grid. And I’m feeling a very strong pull to put down roots.

I have several shrines in the works right now; ones for gods new and old: one for Ing and the genus loci outside, and one for Frige in the kitchen; one for the Rain Lord likely in the hallway , one for the Twins at my desk (working on a new icon for them also), and one for La Abuela de Muerte in the front room.

I feel like I’ve gotten to know my gods more since leaving LA and destroying their old icons. La Abuela, especially, has come to me much more as a guardian of queer people lately, and of minorities in general. Perhaps her most important aspect I’ve discovered, though, is that she is a goddess of the anthropocene; here I see her as a weeping mother given birth to short-lived purebred pets, to poached animals, to extinct animals, to animals driven mad by military sonar, their bellies full of plastic. She gives birth to a human child, smeared in its own filth, a barrel of oil in one hand and a gun in the other; it hates her. But she loves all her dead and dying children.

At her shrine will be a picture of Santa Muerte, images of recently extinct animals, and magic intended to try and counter even the smallest bit of damage to the world done by us. Her symbols will be on every trash bin in the house, on the compost bin outside, the dumpster, and any other workings that I end up doing in her name.

Hubs and I are actually pretty interested in integrating Heathen holidays into our lives, and someday, not even bother with Christmas anymore. I’m not sure what these holidays will look like, but we’ll figure that out going forward. My personal devotional calendar will need updating also. I’d like to start getting serious about my Rain Lord UPG concerning his yearly transition from chthonic god of cave-born clouds, to supernal axe-wielding guardian, and back again. Part of that will definitely be determined by the seasonal cycles of this area, but I’m already thinking that timing these rituals with Dia de Muertos (and other associated holidays for venerating the dead and also Halloween) and May Day, etc., would be ideal.

At any rate, pictures of shrines will be forthcoming as I actualize them.

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9 thoughts on “Settling In

  1. “Perhaps her most important aspect I’ve discovered, though, is that she is a goddess of the anthropocene; here I see her as a weeping mother given birth to short-lived purebred pets, to poached animals, to extinct animals, to animals driven mad by military sonar, their bellies full of plastic. She gives birth to a human child, smeared in its own filth, a barrel of oil in one hand and a gun in the other; it hates her. But she loves all her dead and dying children.”

    I’d like to know more about this La Abuela de Morte, if you’re willing to write about her. Reading the above sentences (especially the penultimate sentence and the bit just before about animals driven mad), I felt a resonance with my worship of Tlazolteotl (which, by the way, how did I NOT know about you earlier?? Another non-binary person working Mesoamerican religion and with a focus on rot and waste?? O. M. G. SQUEE! OK, teenybopper moment over 😉 ). I have an understanding of the Lady with the Pretty Brown Lipstick (as I call her) as not just Tlaelquani, not just the Shit-Eater, but also (as her name says) the Shit Goddess, the one who insists that everything we think is vile and disgusting and wrong and degrading is ACTUALLY HOLY TOO! and challenges us to see and honor that divinity, even while perhaps working to change or end those things we despise and revile.

    At the same time, I feel a resonance between Santa Muerte and Pombagira, who is definitely a patroness of queer people . . .

    Anyway, I wanted to say hi cuz OMG! and this seemed like a good way to do it. Check out my blog muppetbookofdays.blogspot.com, if you wish (it’s kinda a wee bit scattershot at the moment, though it used to be more of _a thing_). As soon as I manage to pull myself together to do it, there will be responses to the Non-Binary Prompts there, though.

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  2. Hey there! 😀

    La Abuela de Morte is… tbh, a sort of nebulous spirit to me. For a while I called her Mictecacehuatl, but that wasn’t right. Then I called her Santa Muerte, and that wasn’t right either. At least, not for my work? But holy shit, how did I not know about Tlazolteotl?? Thank you thank you for bringing her to my attention! For a number of years my primary focus was on the gods of the Yucatan, so I do a lot of devotional work with Chaac and the twin monkey lords of the arts, and when it came to the Teteo, I let them approach me instead of vice-versa, you could say. (I have a taboo where I have to be careful of the way in which I name my non-Heathen gods; it took me many years to know them, and I’m under the impression nowadays that they -want- to stay hard-to-find.)

    But wow. I read this comment last night before bed and I literally couldn’t fall asleep for over an hour, maybe more, and that’s after taking some valerian. I think you’re onto something.

    My initial impression of Tlazolteotl still isn’t 100% what I feel La Abuela de Morte is, though. Maybe this other spirit is a combination of several goddesses merged together with the goal of accomplishing a singular work? I don’t know… this is heavy stuff, lol. At any rate, I really should work on putting her shrine together so I can start figuring out who she is and what she might desire of me/humanity.

    Thank you SO much for the tip!

    Anyways, hello! Take your time with the prompts, they’re not going anywhere! And interesting blog, I’ll check it out. Nice meeting you :]

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  3. Well, Tlazolteotl was originally a Huastecan k’u (that’s the Yucateca word; I don’t yet know the Huasteca word, but they do speak a Maya language) and Yum-Kax’s mother, who became a teotl when the Nahua brought her into their practices. The Huastecas are based across the southern bit of the Gulf of Mexico from the Yucatan Peninsula (that is, across to Mexico, not north to the U.S.) So, she may not be as far off from Chaac and the Twins as you might think . . .

    I just learned all that recently, so I now have to add Maya stuff to my studying scenario >.< So much learning to do to worship my gods!!!

    Whether or not La Abuela _is_ Tlazolteotl, it certainly feels like their energies resonate and align in wonderful ways. Of course, now the Classicist in me is wondering if La Abuela might not just be a Mesoamerican equivalent of someone like, say, Serapis or Sebazios or Antinous (himself one of the gods I worship) – a super-syncretic deity who combines aspects from a bunch of deities. Arising out of a matrix, you might say, a second-order goddess in the mathematical sense . . . Does any of that even WORK in Mesoamerican religion the way it does in Mediterranean, though??

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    1. Interesting. I noticed that she did have a few similarities to Ixchel, namely that her age is an important factor in her attributes.

      Also, in my research, it seemed that the jury was still sort of out on whether Yum Kaax was an individual god or whether that was a title for a variety of woodland spirit? idk, it’s been a while since I’ve cracked open a scholarly text :V But it does seem that a better Yucatec variation on her son would be the Tonsured Maize god (I’m still unsure what to call him) or Hunahpu of the lowland Maya? (This mayyy make somewhat more sense when you consider that his and Xbalanque’s mother was Ixkik.)

      At any rate, you raise a really good point… syncretism in Central America happens in a very specific way; linear, almost. I’ve never heard about any ku’ob (is that how you even pluralize it??) who have merged together to create new deities the way the Netjer or Greek gods do. Out of all the myths and lore I can think of, new deities only seem to form and re-form in entropic ways, ie., by diffusing into more, and “lesser”, deities, never the other way around. The closest thing to “true” syncretism I can see is just when another god or saint’s image is used to reference an older god!

      Hm. The more I think about this, the more I feel the case may be that this is a new goddess in the Mesoamerican tradition– or at least, that’s the lens that I’m interpreting her through.

      Do you do divination or practice any oracular tradition? If so, would it be too much to ask for a second opinion from you/your gods? I’ve been practicing alone for so long that I’m still exercising my discernment muscle. :S

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  4. I loved reading this. I hope I can have a household with my religion integrated into it someday. Granted I could always do that if I love alone but I’d like to share a life with my partner too but he’s not someone who’d believe in any of this.

    Im not sure which one of my deities would be a queer patron so to speak. I was drawn to Santa Muerte for similar reasons as you’ve written here but I’m outside of the culture and the usual social class and so she wouldn’t be for me. My UPG about the Marian cult has similar ideas but that’s Catholic. Far Berta is a deity of the marginalized but not really queer specific. I’m not sure there is one tbh, they’re all kinda old and most are of nature rather than human culture.

    The cyclical nature of your Rain God is interesting, as I feel Szekiraly is also seasonal, with his active period being from May to October then he retreats back to a “cave” where he occasionally rouses to blow snowstorms out (a bear is his symbol). He is the wild nature of the wind and storms, while Parom is closer to humans and can manipulates those storms in response to petitions and human activities. UPG at least.

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    1. Thanks a bunch! I wouldn’t mind hanging out again at some point and getting to know the local scene… if there is one, that is.

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      1. Hanging out again would be great! =)

        There is a local scene…I don’t participate much these days, to be honest, but my MIL is pretty involved and I have some friends who are pretty involved so I can probably hook you up. It’s mostly neo-Wiccish, though there are some druid and heathen groups I think who do things at Pagan Pride, and there’s also Reclaiming. Pagan Pride would probably be the place to start; this year’s is on August 29th. (No idea if I can make it; I’m yet to know my work schedule.)

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