Monday, July 30, 2012

What We Create; How We Worship

As a Witch, I am mindful of the life, expectations, and situations that I create. We are ultimately responsible for all we say and do, and the passive world view of "things just happen to me" is anathema to a Witch. Witches make things happen, regardless of the circumstances they are dealt.

While I did not choose my patroness, I accepted her (she does not give much choice, ha!) but her affect on my personality and choices are profound and far reaching. She is so much a part of my life that her altar is in my living room, on the mantle. Anyone who visits will see her and know her presence. She is a hard mistress- one that does not suffer fools nor the weak. She will tear you down in order to build you back up, better and stronger than before. The road has been grueling and one tinged with loss.

I feel a shift coming- not one that would leave Her behind completely, mind you. But one that is coming, nonetheless. The last five years of my life has been leading up to... this. The chaos of training and shaping myself into a Witch (and divorce and having a child and starting grad school, and, and and...) until you hit that ultimate beginning... initiation. Now, after my initiation and moving across the country  I am starting a new life in earnest.

A new life? I have a son that I am educating about life and Witchery. I have started a business that is small but steady. I am in the position at a UU church that I did not expect to be in until after graduation. (I still have work in grad school, but most of it is independent study that coincides with my new position.) My homestead had a decent start this year and will get an infusion of time, money, and energy in the fall and spring with the addition of bees, raised beds, a greenhouse, and a relaxation area in the backyard. I hope to build a brick oven and grill, even.

All this sudden abundance and ease was not easily won- but Lilith made me as strong as I am (by ripping everything that came before to shreds, mind you) to get me to this place. But sometimes I find it hard to enjoy. Witches revel in earthly delights- the body, the senses, the world around us in its beauty. But I have been struggling for so long that I am in the mindset of "nose-to-the-grindstone" all the time. It's time to switch gears and enjoy what I have accomplished.

It is time to dance, make music, have raucous sex, and eat amazing food. It's time for abundance and happiness; parties and games. And I need someone to show me the way. There is someone calling me (who I have avoided cultivating a relationship with up until now): Ganesha.

This chubby, gentle, and wise deity is pretty popular in Hinduism and even among other non-Hindus- for good reason. He is kind and wise (and teaches in ways completely unlike Lilith).

He is a patron of letters and of learning; he is the legendary scribe who, using his broken tusk, which he often holds, wrote down parts of the Mahabharata epic. As I am learning a new Welsh Traditional Witchcraft tradition this year, continuing with grad school and herb learning, and training in visual art this year- he seems appropriate for this time of my life.

His appetite for sweets is legendary and offerings of them are often left at his shrines. His altar in my home has been erected on a third of the living room mantle (Lilith gets most of it, of course.) and he currently has offerings of flowers (Zinnias that I grew myself), dark chocolate, and incense. I also keep my drying paintbrushes there, my sketch pad, and my current journal for my coven training. We have the most lovely vintage statue of Ganesh- large and delicately carved from sandalwood in India. It used to belong to my partner's beloved Witchcraft teacher, now dead. It is there on the mantle, with offering plate, incense burner and small vase for his flowers.

He likes to revel and have a good time: dancing, eating, and mind and mood altering substances are all his domain. He celebrates life and beauty. I need his influence as a reminder to what is important.

As the remover of obstacles, it is he whom worshippers acknowledge first when they visit a temple. Pray to him and have the way cleared for you to accomplish your Will.  My main obstacle at this point is me and my old patterns that do not serve as well as they have in the past. Ganesh, I pray to you to help me remove these obstacles so that I may experience joy.

I am still working out what it means to have deities that are so unlike one another wearing different cultural clothes in my life. I tend to be of the mindset that gods are larger than what we assign to them and that each culture tends to see, like the room of blind men, only a part of the elephant. The gods of Faery are different from those of the Welsh trad I am currently studying, which are different from a few others that I work with: Lilith, Ganesh, Samovila. It's all confusing and glorious and a constant discovery.

Do you work with Ganesh? How do you offer devotion (or do you)? I see devotion as a way of getting the positive attention of a beloved. Wooing, if you will. How do you see it?


  1. I offer devotion to God, and He/She offers it to me. It's amazing.

    (this is kind of the way I see the universe). To Ganesh, I offer him a very special part of my heart, and he comes and massages my feet.

    He's a very special brother. I love him.

  2. I have been letting Ganesh into my life for about a year. He's fantastic! I give him sweet offerings and love, and He removes the obstacles to my life. Funny you should mention him; I've recently called upon him to help me move into a new chapter of my life.

  3. I must say that a while back, when you posted the "Ganesh is Fresh" video from MC Yogi that was the first time I had heard it. It inspired me so much that I bought the whole album then (I personally love the Krishna song he sings)....and when shortly thereafter I had to do a project for my life-drawing class, this album inspired me to do a self-portrait as Shiva. So I just wanted to say thank you...and say that's wonderful news incorporating Ganesha. This world needs more joy dancing and sweets...imho. Here's the finished portrait that your post ended up inspiring. :D

  4. Thanks everyone, for your insightful comments!

    Ganesh as road opener is working really well in my life right now as well, Faith.

    Adam, thank you so much for sharing your art! I am glad that I helped you find something you enjoy so much (the album) and that the music inspired your own art. Fantastic!

  5. Your description of Ganesh reminded me somewhat of myself (except for the gender and the having the "raucous sex"--although I yearn for that raucousness). I think I will like Him although I am not sure I can put anything like food and chocolates on His altar. I will most likely resent Him for having it. :>

    Can Ganesh be called upon by one person for a country where most of the people are Christians? I am here, trapped in my office in UP Manila, but safe from the rain and floods. I want the deluge to stop so we--my people and I--can survive. But when I listen to the rain, I keep hearing over and over again, "It's going to be alright. The lessons are being learned." However, when I listen to the news on the radio and see the pictures posted on FB, I doubt. Sometimes I wonder if I am just being delusional about the "rain message."


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