Monday, 7 September 2009

Personal Pantheon

I have an inordinate fondness for organising things; knowing where things are, what they are, how they relate to one another and then for recording this information mentally and physically for future use and reference. This innate anal retentiveness and obsessive compulsion is very useful in my work seeing as it effectively constitutes what I get paid to do with fossil collections.

In some ways it is a hindrance and in others a blessing when it comes to matters of religion and spirituality. It means it can often be a problem in that I obsess over things and how they relate to one another but I other ways it means I often stop and take stock of where I am at.

It has been a while since I have done this – in some respects I think regular blogasms have replaced this urge/need – so I think it is time to begin doing so again, what with the autumn gallavanting upon us and winter not too far ahead. I have been waffling on a bit on here about things quite abstract I guess so maybe it is time to collate some thoughts and set them straight.

I shall begin with my personal pantheon; the gods with whom I have a two-way relationship and those gods who kind of drift in and out of the picture and in which sense the relationship is one way; me taking an interest and a general desire to know more about them without anything further. This will be a bit of a mix of historical factoids and personal myth and experience. As I am writing these I can feel an almost modern Wicca derived mythos slipping in no matter how hard I try to not let it, but I think it should be there. I am Wiccan and it flavours my interaction with the gods to some extent.

To me she embodies the landscape itself; the rolling streams, the hills, the mountains, the woodland and the heath. All the gods of those places dwell within her and we do too. She is the Grey Mare, the horse that embodies the spirit of the land and our place within it. She is sovereignty and the one who grants it; not only in the older sense of being a rightful ruler but also in a personal sense of ‘belonging’ and the proper interaction of a person with the landscape. If such a title were needed she would be the Great Mother Goddess of the British Isles.

My relationship with Lugus-Belenus is still rather ‘young’. Ideas of being the Sky Father figure, the one who is skilled in every craft and as such is a teacher and guide. Yet who has a mighty spear and delights in bloodletting. The Sun, the corn as it ripens, the one who spills his own blood to achieve this.

A bit of a newish one; the swine god. The black boar of winter who churns the land under his hooves, whose chilling sweat is the dawn frost and whose hot breath is the winter mists. The god who is hunted and whose flesh is eaten to sustain. The one who sees us through the cold months, even as he grinds the life out of the weak and the sick.

The sky thunderer. I saw an arrow of geese honking across the London sky this morning and it reminded me that he should be included.

The Lord of the Waters. The spirit of the great rivers; the Severn and the Thames. A healer. There is something about him that makes me want to equate him with Teyrnon/Tigernonos of the roaring wave; the Severn and the Severn Bore. The wife of the Grey Mare; the lady of the land and the god of the water as husband and wife or merely as lovers.


arth frown said...

I was thinking last weekend of Taranis being the sky father. He who moves the stars, sun and moon in a sky wheel.

Bo said...

I don't think there's much doubt about that. I reckon you're spot on arth.

arth frown said...

Well his definitely turning wheel to a winter sky. I saw Orion and pleiades at 3 am Sunday morning in the eastern sky.

Potia said...

I think of Rigantona as more to do with the people of the tribe and their relationships than the land itself. Although that's also because I see Rigantona as another name for Epona or the other way round even.

Lee said...

im glad to see this is getting people talking about their gods and how they relate to them. might take it to CF later on.

Potia: i agree, she is that too. i tend to see her as being wider and more all encompassing though. that said, i think other gods can and do occupy part of her place in the landscape in different places.

Taranis: at the moment he is one of the ones on the outer edges of things for me. the stars though are a different matter - the cosmos as a whole is a different kettle of fish, though i think in some ways in reflects whats going on down here on earth. i dont currently see it as being under the influence of the gods - it is bigger than that.

Alice Kytler said...

I've tended to experience Rhiannon/Rigantona much more like Potia describes but also very much connected to the land as the source of sovereignty. Perhaps it might be fair to say 'the very thing that connects the tribes to the land'.I've always tended to see Don when I look at the great rivers and the landscape itself. I guess in a way we don't know as much about who she might have been as Rhiannon/Rigantona, so to me she is the perfect mystery to signify something of that enormity.