Patterns of Devotion

I have written in the past about my deepening devotional practices. Today I wish to share with you how my devotions have changed.

I used to honour my ancestors at the dark moon, Maponos on Sundays and, Brigantia, Epona Rigantona and An Cailleach around the full moon.

Then I joined a flame tending cill with Clann Bhride and began flame tending in honour of Brigantia every twenty days.

I can’t even remember exactly when after that point that other things began to change but at some stage I began to honour Epona Rigantona each week on a Friday. I chose a Friday because Epona is my beloved and Fridays in the past have been linked to deities of love (see Wikipedia Names of the days of the week if you are interested).

It felt good to be honouring Epona each Friday so I decided to start honoring An Cailleach on a Saturday. I was now honouring different deities on Friday, Saturday and Sunday plus every twenty days flame tending in honour of Brigantia.

Then Loki came into my life.

I used to consider myself to be solely a Brythonic Polytheist.

Then Loki came into my life!

That bit bears repeating.  Loki brought change with Him.  I wasn’t looking for Sleipnir’s Dam and I didn’t expect or invite Her (at least not to start with) but for some reason best known to the Bound One, He decided to bring Her changes to me.

One of those changes was that I started to include Loki in my weekly devotions.  At first I tried slotting Him in on Thursdays but that didn’t feel right. So I switched to Saturdays, prompted in part by something I had read that suggested Saturdays had been linked to Loki in the past.  I can’t remember exactly what that was now but I switched days and it felt much better.

But it didn’t feel right honouring An Cailleach on the same day so after a bit of thought I decided to move honouring Her to Mondays.  There are aspects in some of the lore which I believe indicate ties to the moon for An Cailleach so this seemed to fit well.

For a couple of moons I tried to keep the lunar links I had made as well but that became a bit confusing as I ended up trying to honour two different deities on one day.  For me that became confusing and I felt I wasn’t doing justice to my devotions to either deity when the days linked into full moon cycles.  I decided drop the full moon devotions in favour of the weekly ones for a moon or two to see how it felt and I’ve kept that change.

So now I honour different deities on four days of the week and another every twenty days. I’m also no longer solely honouring Brythonic deities.  At first I thought maybe Loki would be in my life for a set purpose and then maybe wander off but at the moment it feel much more like the Sky-treader is here to stay.  The current pattern feels good with one exception and that’s the ancestors.

In dropping the full moon devotions I found I began to lose touch with the lunar cycle and the pattern of honouring my ancestors at the dark moon began to slip as well.  I still have my ancestral shrine area and still think of varying ancestors at different times but the more ritualised devotions have fallen away.  I’m still not sure if I need to start on a weekly basis for honouring my ancestors or try and restore the dark moon practice.  I think maybe moving to a weekly based practice would work out best, if so I have my choice of Tuesday, Wednesday or Thursday currently free of other devotions. Maybe Wednesday as that day has links to deities of communication.

My journey with devotional practices has not been a swift one but one that has gradually altered to a more frequent family of devotional practices.  And I know that I am still changing and that my practices will also continue to change.

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7 thoughts on “Patterns of Devotion

  1. You are listening and responding to the promptings of the deities you honour and who have entered your life, More importantly in doing so you are honouring the deepest aspects of your spiritual journey. To do this takes time, thought, and most of all intuition. And then after all that trusting what has been and continues to be revealed to you. The gods are unlikely to complain about that.

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  2. Interesting to hear about your developing devotional practice and fascinating to hear how Loki has come into it. Your plan to honour the different deities is instructive in how polytheism can demand a close attention to giving each of the honoured deities their due.

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  3. It is always interesting to hear how others honour the deities that call to them. Thank you for sharing! As polytheists/henotheists, although we are hardly ‘making it up as we go along’, there is an element of trial and error in developing devotional practice – and as you say, it changes as we change, over time.

    Gods sometimes come calling. Although I have never felt drawn to a Norse path, I remember vividly when I encountered Hel. My relationship with her was tied to a specific landscape, which I have left behind now, but those few years of devotion to Her were transformative.

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  4. Thanks for sharing this – it’s intriguing to hear how you’ve developed your practices by following your intuition and what has felt right for various deities.

    In my daily practice I honour the spirits of my home and my patron, Gwyn, first thing in the morning, then whatever spirits of place I meet/visit if I walk or cycle often including Belisama, the goddess of the Ribble. I check in with Gwyn again in the evening and the last thing I do before going to bed is converse with Nodens about the previous night’s dreams. Every Sunday I light all my altars – to Gwyn, Nodens, Belisama, Brigantia, and Epona-Rigantona.

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