4/31 Foundations: Day-to-Day Practice

From Ree na Réaltaí‘s 30 days of Paganism/Polytheism.

4/31: Foundations: Day-to-Day Practice – An explanation of your day-to-day practices, and how you incorporate those practices into daily life.

At some point in the morning, after I shower and change and when I am all done with my morning procrastination, I open my ancestor altar (it is inside a jewelry box) which consists of some photos, funeral cards, and objects that belonged to my nearest ancestors, and a stone made of fossil shells to represent my ancestors as distant as life on this planet. In front of it are two skull candleholders that represent the hamingja of my two families: blood and adoptive, and a list of all of the dead ancestors I know by name. I refresh the glass of water that sits inside the altar, light the candles and burn up a piece of Hell Money to each family (since I don’t live the life where I make fresh bread every morning), and thank them. I give to them as they continue to give to me.

(I try my best to treat that altar, when open, as if my most conservative ancestress were there before me, and close it at all other times.)

I go through the day. I greet Sunna if She is shining, and Mani if I see Him in the sky. I pray to Loki as “Mother of the Horse” if I have to sprint for a bus. (I may find myself doing devotional cardio one of these days)

My day is pretty boring. I thank the guiding spirit of my workplace (a call center) if I get easy calls, or interesting ones, or ones that end right on time for my break.

I come home from work late at night and dick about on the internet for a while. Before bed I talk to Njord, and I come with offerings. Some gin if I am making myself a drink, otherwise salt water and juniper incense. His image right now is a novena candle of San Cipriano, under a symbolic roof, with an offering plate of beach glass and coins at his feet, and beside him a granite-and-quartz rock from Lake Superior and several freshwater pearls dedicated to His wife Nerthus.

If I am feeling formal or distant, I will recite some of his titles and deeds. I will tell him about progress in a few of the difficult things of my life I have asked for his help in: finding a new house, finding a new job. Sometimes I just thank him and talk one-sided, but if I ask questions I will pull a tarot card to help understand His responses (even so, my understanding can be biased and garbled). Sometimes I meditate (though the mess in my life has made concentration difficult) or simply sit in His presence.

That’s my daily baseline, right now, though a few weeks ago it looked totally different. The gods that I spend most of my time with change depending on my life, and Their demands, but I can’t maintain daily devotion to more than one or two deities at a time. I have other god images in my room and bring some of them offerings and prayers once or twice a week, and some of them much less than that.

Some god-images are not always up, and receive offerings situationally, and some Gods I pray to without any images at all (koinos Hermês, “Hermes of the Commons” I consider the patron of Little Free Libraries, and Exu Okkada the orisha of the curb and dumpster, both of whom get my offerings regularly)

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