Like most baby pagans, when I first started out I was consumed with the quest for the proper patron to oversee my explorations into the realms of myth and magic. Every time I thought I had found The One, sooner or later the connection began to fade. This brought no end of frustration, of course, and I’d keep making offerings, banging my head against the altar and trying to block out the influence of any other gods because, dammit, I had a patron now!
What’s taken me well over 20 years to figure out, though, is that I don’t have a static patron. It wasn’t until I sat down and started mapping out Who I felt When, that I realized I have (roughly) eight beings that I honor throughout the course of the year (not counting random cameos from other gods, spirits, and ancestors, who are given worth as the need arises). What follows is another attempt at mapping their influence as it waxes and wanes; the peak god/dess in italics at each festival is my primary focus for that ritual. When a deity comes to the forefront, another one fades into dormancy. Usual disclaimers: this is what works for me, is based on intuition, sure as hell ain’t historically accurate, blah, blah, blah.
Diminishing-Gwynn ap Nudd
Surrendering-Gwynn ap Nudd
Dreaming-Gwynn ap Nudd
Dormant-Gwynn ap Nudd
Stirring-Gwynn ap Nudd
Rising-Gwynn ap Nudd
Intensifying-Gwynn ap Nudd
Peak-Gwynn ap Nudd
10 thoughts on “More Fun with Liturgical Calendars”
That is an elegant arrangement. Even though my own practice is henotheistic, I can appreciate how such a pattern might arise, and how it might suit.
By the time I took up Druidry in my early 40s, I’d been agnostic for the majority of my adult life. After a number of odd experiences, however, my beliefs have become considerably more… complicated.
I think “complicated” is one the most applicable adjectives we have for describing personal belief. I have to admit to envying you henotheists a little bit, though—of course the grass is always greener, right? 😉
Doubtless my current arrangement will change and evolve with time, but for the moment, it does indeed seem to suit!
You worked this system out really nicely. It’s pretteh. 🙂
That’s really interesting. I’ve found my relationships with deities are pretty much perrenial- whilst their life cycles change with the seasons I tend to honour them in similar amounts all year round. Would you mind sharing which symbol is whose?
Sure! Going clockwise, Moon=Arianrhod, Brighid’s Cross=Brigantia, Acorn=Gwydion, Cycladic Head=Dôn, Sun=Llew, Hammer & Anvil=Wayland, Arrowhead=Gwynn ap Nudd, Cauldron=Cerridwen.
I originally tried a model where each deity had half a year shared with an opposing force (Llew peaking at summer solstice vs. Arianrhod peaking at winter, for instance), but then I realized that really didn’t cover all the subtlety of what I felt. Making their spheres of influence into complete circles makes much more sense, as now there is only ever really one time a year where their influence is completely dormant.
It’s an interesting model to meditate on, particularly in relation to how intensely a deity’s presence is felt in the landscape. The only two of these I connect with are Gwyn and Brigantia.
I also see Brigantia’s presence, as a creative / fertile force within us and in the land being felt as a surge at Imbolc and declining with fall, although I don’t feel her presence as strongly through the winter months as you.
I feel Gwyn’s presence here most strongly from September through to Imbolc, then his battle with Gwythyr at Beltane, and the Faerie Raids make things pretty chaotic.
In terms of symbols for me it’s a necklace with a pair of hounds on it for Gwyn and a lantern for Brigantia.
I like your symbols for Gwynn and Brigantia–do your hounds have red ears? 😉
The relationship between deities and the land is fascinating, and has always been something of a puzzle for me since I live in the US yet venerate Old World gods. Somehow adding that fourth dimension of time/seasonality helps straighten things out.
The ones on my necklace do, but I also have a penchant for black strays, my local landscape is rife with black dog legends.
I tend to think the gods travel with us wherever we worship them and tell their stories. Whilst time and place matter, they are not limitations as ultimately everything is connected. I get the sense that they like to be called to / invoked in new places in the modern world as it’s a new experience and learning process for them too?
“I get the sense that they like to be called to / invoked in new places in the modern world as it’s a new experience and learning process for them too?”
I like this thought a lot.
Interestingly enough, black dogs are almost always associated with Cerridwen in my brain. Neat that you have so many legends of them in the area!