Beginning around 2011, many of us in the Pagan and polytheist communities – and especially those of us who are connected to the Morrigan – started hearing a message: “get ready – a storm is coming.”
In 2016 the storm arrived. 2016 was the year of death and the year of Trump, and the year when it became apparent that the Otherworld is bleeding through into the ordinary world. The Gods (at least the ones I follow) were getting impatient.
In 2017 the message shifted: don’t get distracted. This is a marathon, not a sprint – pace yourselves accordingly. If you’re sitting around waiting on something you’d better get busy, but if you’re already working just stay with it. Balance and patience were the words. Some of us felt like the intersection of this world and the Otherworld stopped increasing, though we couldn’t tell if it had reached a maximum or if it was just pausing before intensifying again.
We’re a quarter of the way through 2018 and the message I’m getting is shifting once again: “the storm is strengthening.” We have a little time – a very little time – to prepare before the next wave of challenges and high strangeness hit us in the face.
This is UPG
I don’t usually put disclaimers in my blog posts, but I want to be absolutely clear here. This is my UPG – unverified personal gnosis. These are messages I’m getting from the Gods and spirits with whom I’m affiliated, and from my own intuition. They are authoritative only for me – I have to pay attention and respond accordingly. You are under no such obligation.
We tend to keep these things to ourselves. Some UPG is deeply personal. More often, though, we don’t want to deal with the skeptics who say “you’re just making it up” and the hyperindividualists who scream “you’re trying to tell me what to do!”
But if multiple people in multiple places are hearing more or less the same thing, there’s almost certainly something to it. When we share our experiences and our impressions, we let other people know they’re not alone. They know they’re not making it up and they’re not going crazy.
And for those of you who aren’t hearing this message but who are open to it, now you know. This isn’t one of those things that won’t hurt you if you close your eyes and say “it’s not real, it’s not real” over and over again. The storm is strengthening, and it’s going to hit you whether you like it or not, whether you believe in it or not. Forewarned is forearmed.
Beltane: Finish Your Assignments
I have two major writing projects that have been in my queue for quite some time. One I’ve been working on actively if not consistently. I need to get it finished. The other I’ve been putting off and putting off. I can still get it done, but I have to get moving now. And recently I’ve had two more writing assignments dropped on me.
These specific assignments are mine, not yours (unless you’re one of the people working on them with me, in which case it’s yours too). I list it here not because of the what but because of the why.
Every time I write about time-based requirements I get pushback from Pagans who want to live in a hunter-gatherer environment. They want to live where the pace of life is slow and things get done when they get done. I get that – really, I do. But that’s not the world we live in. More relevantly, storms come on their own timetable. If the National Weather Service says a hurricane is going to make landfall in three days, completing your evacuation preparations in two days has a very different outcome versus completing them in four days.
If there are things you’ve been tasked with doing, finish them now. Not because there’s some arbitrary schedule cruelly enforced by some otherworldly overseer, but because they will be needed very, very soon. If the hurricane will hit on Thursday, the shutters need to be installed on Wednesday. On Friday it’s too late.
Summer Solstice: The Requirements Go Up
Honor the Gods, and align yourself with Their virtues and values. Honor your ancestors, and take strength in knowing that you are the child of people who survived their own storms. Honor the spirits of the place where you live, and support those with whom we have common cause. Take care of yourself, your family, and your communities. Reach out to others, and build alliances where ever you can.
Sometimes this work is practical. Other times it’s devotional. Both are important – neither is a substitute for the other.
After the Summer Solstice, my devotional requirements are going up. The leeway I’ve had for “if you miss something, just pick it up again next time” is going away. Other requirements are being added – and I don’t know what they’ll be yet.
If you’re a beginner, this almost certainly doesn’t apply to you. The Gods are – for the most part – extremely patient with people who are just starting out and who are trying to develop good, healthy spiritual practices. They know we’re imperfect humans – They expect consistent effort, not perfection.
But if you’re an experienced Pagan or polytheist, it may be time to take the next step in your devotion. Add a new practice. Extend or deepen a current practice. If you’ve been hit-or-miss with some practices, commit to consistency.
Not just because honoring our Gods, ancestors, and spirits is the right thing to do (though it is) but because regular spiritual practice builds a foundation that will sustain us through difficult times. We do it for them, and we get benefits in the process.
Samhain: The World Changes (Again)
If you’re waiting on an apocalypse, you’re going to be waiting a very long time. People have been predicting the end of the world for 3500 years and they’ve been wrong every single time.
But the world is always changing, and the rate of change in the world has been increasing throughout my lifetime. Technology changes, culture changes, economics and politics change. Perhaps more importantly for those of us with a Pagan and polytheist outlook on life, the cycles of magic and the Otherworld are changing. I don’t think it’s possible for us to know with certainty why this is happening, but too many people are experiencing too many changes for us to ignore it.
Samhain will bring more and deeper changes to our world. I have been given no indication what form those changes will take, though I suspect they will be more spiritual than temporal. Be ready for more high strangeness.
Put Your Faith In Deeper Things
Samhain is less than a week before the U.S. midterm elections on November 6. Current projections are that the Democrats will do well and could take both houses of Congress. That would be a good thing, even though Trump will still be President. But remember that on the morning of the 2016 Presidential election, Hillary Clinton had a 70% chance of winning. If this election matters to you – and how can it not? – be a citizen and not a spectator and get involved.
But do not forget that Trump is the symptom, not the disease. Do not forget that the United States was no liberal paradise while Barack Obama was President, even when the Democrats controlled both houses of Congress.
At last year’s Beltane, we said
If we put our trust in the law, we will always be disappointed. If we put our identity in politics, we will always be incomplete. If we put our faith in government, we will ignore our allies in this world and in the world beyond.
We have put our faith in the wrong things.
You think government is strong? Nature is stronger. You think politics is strong? The human spirit is stronger. You think the law is strong? Magic is stronger.
Be a good citizen and get involved, even if it’s only to vote – that’s the price of living in a democracy. But do not put your faith in politics. Put your faith in deeper things.
Who can stand against us when we align ourselves with the currents of Nature? Who can stand against us when we ally ourselves with our Good Neighbors in honor and respect? Who can stand against us when rank upon rank of mighty ancestors surround us? And who can stand against us when we ally ourselves with the Gods?
The storm is strengthening. Complete your preparations while you still have time.