My personal journey has taken me to some strange places lately. See, I used to write a lot about religion, and that was great when I knew what I was doing with religion. When I belonged to A Tradition of some sort, it was easy to write about that. When I was going to conferences and Pagan group gatherings, and experiencing and sharing, it was easy to write about that.
I left the organized tradition that I was most recently a part of almost a year ago now. Since then I’ve continued to practice my various polytheisms, Germanic, Celtic, Hellenic, home brew. I’ve kept up with my personal and private witchcraft and spiritism. But I haven’t really had direction. My religion has been honoring the Gods, spirits, and dead who are significant to me, and marking the days that have been significant to me. It doesn’t have name, it doesn’t have a container other than my multicolored hearth and my life. After years of Belonging To Groups I am very much not used to this.
I had an excellent reading from a professional recently, asking about spiritual direction, and it all pointed me towards astrology. Study of Orphism lead me to study of ancient astrology a few years ago, and then I got bit by the bug and have been continuing to make a serious study of the subject lately, including astrological magic. In astrology community I’ve found deep devotional practices, powerful magic and spirit work, and a pursuit of wisdom and healing. The fact that the reading centered the importance of that in the road forward to me isn’t a surprise; now I need to figure out what to do about it.
The planets were viewed as the Gods, or as the stars or signs of the Gods, or as parts of the bodies of the Gods, and were named for some of the Gods. Other Gods are manifest in the world in other ways, and some Gods have wandering stars named for them. I’m familiar with the concept of Gods and that was kind of a gateway to me for astrology. Also, the planets lead me to polytheism as a child. My mother bought me a poster of the solar system when I was young and I asked where the names of the planets came from and she said the Romans Gods. And I said GodSSS? and asked for further explanation, and when she gave me her understanding of polytheism, I said that’s what I believed. She was not pleased, but you know, it never really changed.
I’ve always seen the Many while being aware of the One, too, and the mysteries of how those flow back and forth into each other have been a theme over and over in my life. When is a collective a single being? When is a single being a single being and not a collective? These and related questions have come up more than once for me so I feel comfortable holding different viewpoints in different hands and using them to understand different things.
So in retrospect, with my childhood reverence for the Gods as planets/the planets as Gods/the Gods the planets were named for the fact that I’m drawn to astrology should be no surprise to me but it has been. And it’s been a pleasant one because it has given me new ways to look at and approach the divine, new divinatory tools, new magic, and all grounded in things that have always meant a lot to me.
I’m still steeping myself in star lore and star magic and I’m still very much an apprentice, but with all these new things, maybe I’ll have new things to write about.