Spring is Almost Here

A few ramblings… Spring is just around the corner. I can feel it in the sunshine and the rushing river near my home. There aren’t any buds on the trees yet, and some of the ground under the large tree I park the car under is still frozen, but I can feel the thaw starting far below my feet.

Spring is particularly significant for me because I suffer from seasonal affective disorder, which, mock all you will, is a real condition. This winter wasn’t quite as bad as some (thank you, New Mexico sunshine), but I’ve been unhappy all the same. Now the sun is shining more and I spend as much of my writing time outdoors as I can.

With the change of seasons, I’ve been thinking a lot about Persephone. I’m not sure how having patrons in two different hearth cultures would work, but I feel drawn to her as a goddess with whom I want to develop a personal relationship. How do you start developing a new relationship with a deity? I’ve been making offerings to her and thinking of her often, and I think that’s a good start.

It’s odd to me that both Manannán, my definite patron, and Persephone, a potential patron, are associated with the Underworld. Manannán is a gatekeeper, certainly, while Persephone is Queen of the Underworld but travels back and forth. I would never have guessed myself to be attracted to deities associated with the dead and the Underworld. I wonder what that says…?

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2 thoughts on “Spring is Almost Here

  1. I do not mock! 🙂 My husband also suffers from seasonal affective disorder, and, by extension, so do I. We’re just North of you in Colorado, which is known for it’s sunshine, but the Winter is still hard to endure. I’m glad to hear you’re seeing signs of the thaw.

    I have a similar experience with Patrons from two different hearth traditions, and I, too, have been wondering what exactly it means. Brighid, from the Irish pantheon, has been a part of my life for several years, and I’ve made her central in my worship since I started with ADF. I made a trip to Ireland with a church youth group (back in my mostly-pre-pagan days), and we visited Her Sacred Well. The experience was powerful, so much so that I took an image of her cross that was painted on a nearby stone and had it tattooed on my wrist; a permanent reminder of her presence in my life.

    Then, last year, I was approached in a dream by a rather terrifying entity. He wasn’t scary in the way that the boogyman is scary. He was the awe-inspiring kind of scary. His voice was like an earthquake, and he was accompanied by two spectral dogs who stood on either side of a free-standing doorway (what I later came to understand as a “gate” like the kind we open in our rituals). I would come to understand in time that this Being was Arawn, Welsh god of the Underworld.

    Now Welsh and Irish are pretty close cousins, but still – I’ve been a little unsure of where this leaves me in my ADF work. I feel more drawn to the Welsh language and culture, but then again I’ve been to Ireland and have a real bond with Brighid. Perhaps we needn’t be so binary about it, though. After all, the PIE people cross-polenated, culturally speaking, and so why shouldn’t we?

    And, by the way, I think that you’re doing *exactly* what you should in approaching Persephone. You’re instincts on how to initiate a relationship seem spot on to me. If you want to deepen your connection to her, you might investigate what forms of offerings would have been made to her by Her ancient Greek followers. Just a thought.

  2. Thanks, Teo. Your comments are always so thoughtful and helpful — I’m really grateful to have you as a fellow DP friend. 🙂

    I’ve been making offerings of olive oil to Persephone, and as soon as I have some wine (I’m temporarily abstaining), I’ll offer that, too. She seems pleased, so far, even though she’s the lone Hellenic goddess in my personal pantheon.

    I was really concerned at first about mixing hearth cultures, but I think you’re right: we don’t need to be so binary. In ADF we acknowledge all deities as individuals, and it would be wrong to pretend the gods outside of our hearth culture (i.e. Irish for me, Welsh, perhaps, for you) don’t exist. I understand that the point of the division is to keep people from honoring, say, Vedic deities with Norse traditions, but in my personal devotionals, when I don’t follow a full ritual structure or really a hearth culture (what ancient culture would have offered Reese’s peanut butter cups, after all?), that I should honor all the deities I want to welcome into my life.

    This is turning into a rambling comment, but I hope it makes sense.

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