Last summer I started feeling the presence of a few other deities to those I have regular patterns of devotion with. One was a being I had a little experience of but others were new to me. What they have in common are the seas and oceans.
The one I had some experience of is Manannán. I had heard about him in various myths and in previous years had felt His presence by the shore and when I took a ferry to Arran. Last summer I felt Him more strongly, particularly when we took a ferry to the Isle of Mull for a short holiday. His presence ebbed and flowed like the tide but last year His presence began to feel much stronger. If you are new to His name then you’ll find an overview here. For a much better introduction though I recommend Morgan Daimler’s book “Manannán mac Lir: Meeting The Celtic God Of Wave And Wonder“.
The other beings that made their presence strongly felt were from the Norse pantheon and the strongest of these was the Goddess Rán. I’ve written before about Loki entering my life but up to last summer none of the other assorted beings from Norse pantheon had made their presence felt so I had thought that Loki was going to be the only one. That didn’t bother me in any way as I still thought of myself as primarily Brythonic. Now I started to realise that maybe that wasn’t going to be the case long term. Along with Rán I also felt the presence of what I knew were Her daughters. It wasn’t until I got home from Mull that I was able to check my feelings with information on the lore. As the summer progressed into autumn it seemed like Rán and Her daughters had drifted away but then they drifted back again. Over the last year their presences have continued to ebb and flow in my life.
It got to the stage where I felt I needed to set aside some devotional space for beings of water and in particular the seas and oceans. My main altar was already full though so after a bit of thought I set up one of a set of three nested coffee tables as a shrine to being of the seas, oceans and rivers. I brought an indoor water fountain as the main focal point and added a small statue of a leaping dolphin, some sea glass and a hag stone. The sea glass and hag stone were collected on beaches I have visited. Since the photo below I’ve also added a shell from a more recent beach trip.
And for a while that was it. I felt the urge to make offerings occasionally but nothing regular. Last week that changed while I was out for a walk round my local park. I was musing about the ebb and flow of these developing relationships and whether to try and make more regular offerings. I wasn’t sure how anything new would fit into the patterns I already have and suddenly I had a realization.
Ever since I had changed from a lunar patter of devotions to a weekly one I had struggled to keep touch with the lunar phases in the way that I had previously. I used to make offerings to my ancestors on the dark moon, to Brigantia the day before a full moon, Epona on the full moon and An Cailleach the day after the full moon. When I started to make offerings to Maponos on Sundays my patterns began to shift to a weekly devotional cycle and I started to lose touch with the lunar cycles a bit. This sudden realization was that honouring the beings of ocean and seas would fit beautifully into a lunar pattern of devotions. After all we are very aware of the influence of this planet’s moon in the cycle of tides. Using a lunar pattern made sense, it felt right.
And so on this last full moon I began to add a new pattern into my existing devotional practices. First I made my offering, prayed and communed with the deity of that day and then I turned my focus to the water shrine and made an offering there. As yet I have not developed any particular prayers for Manannán or Rán who are the strongest of the presences that drift in and out. The shrine also has images honouring Rán’s nine daughters and her husband Ægir. My intentions are to now honour Manannán, Rán and her daughters and her husband Ægir at both full and dark moons.