Thursday, August 21, 2008

My sons gods

My son has been doing a lot of soul searching lately and has decided that he likes having a lot of gods, more than he likes just one God. He has thought long and hard and chosen 3 gods that he wants right now. He actually first started by trying to find the most powerful gods, or gods that grant power, but I told him that if you have power, you have to take it from someone, and then there will always be someone that will try to take it from you. So, properly discourages, he choose gods that fit better with who he is and what he wants to achieve in life.

First, he choose the Great Spirit, like me. It is what he is comfortable with and knows from Church.

Next he choose the Chinese Monkey King, Sun Wukong. Since he is so irreverent, like my son, I thought he was a perfect match to my sons personality. I think he will be a good god for my son.

Modern versions of the Monkey King

Last, my son choose the goddess Nike. He plays a lot of games and wants to be victorious, so he chose a god that helps you gain victories. I think this will be a good goddess for him, whom will help his as he grows into a man.

Overall, I think my son made good choices for his gods and I am proud of him. We will continue to work on things and set up an altar for him.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


I started setting up proper altars when I lived in New Orleans, about 11 years ago. I laid out everything like I was told in the books I read, and it just didn't fit right. So, I started tinkering with it and made it my own. It continued to evolve over the years. As I moved and changed. I had a buddhist altar set up for a while, with just a statue of buddha, a phurba and a thangka over it. Then I started to go back to my pagan ways and set up Horus, Apsu and Tiamat on my altar. Then, I moved to Korea and haven't done anything for 4 years. With my son wanting to start exploring spirituality, I decided it was time to bring it back. But, what altar to use. I have seen some great altars here in Asia and want to bring some of that back with me. I decided to make and altar cabinet, like the ones I saw in Japan. I thought they were beautiful and they really spoke to me. Also, all I have to do is close the doors when people are over and keep my private life private.

Japanese Altar Cabinets

Traditional wiccan altar like I originally had

Tibetan altar pop-up book

(I really like this as it is great for traveling and want to get it for my son)

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

My Pantheon

Over the years I have collected my own pantheon of gods. Pantheons are usually grouped together by cultures, like the Olympic gods of Greece, the Asgardians of the Norse, the Jade Emperors Court of China and similar groupings. But, my pantheon just came together as I was either drawn to a god or I have a need for them. I have also included one Archangel in the grouping, as they are just as powerfull and divine as gods. I call upon many other gods, when I need them, and sometimes just when I notice them, but these are the main ones for me.

So what is a god to me? I do believe in the great and unknowable supreme deity that created everything and IS everything, the grandfather spirit. So I think of gods as it's children, the embodiments of what they represent, given form and much (but not all) personality by people. They are pure divine spirit and their physical forms are their elements. So Zues is the sky and lightning of the Mediterranean, Thor is the might of thunder in northern Europe, Quetzalcoatl is the gentle fertile rains of Central America, Venus is the morning and evening star and is in the attraction and love you feel for other things, Amaterasu is the divine sun over Japan and mother of Emperors, etc..

Grandfather spirit

Sekhmet: way back when I was looking for a patron goddess, I kept seeing lioness images and then I got this toy that I was going to resculpt and I decided that the toy looked a lot like a lion woman. That led me to Sekhmet, whom has since been my patron goddess.

Mut: she is more recent to my pantheon. When I prayed that my sons adoption would go well and that I was hoping to get my other foster sons, I had a dream one night and in the dream was a white vulture woman, whom offered me comfort and encouragement. I decided to add her to my pantheon after that. She made the effort to contact me, so I should honor her for her interest.

Venus, the embodiment of love, attraction and beauty. I prayed to her a lot when I was a horny teen, hoping that she would find me someone whom would love me. Well, that didn't work out, but maybe one day. I keep praying though, for the day that she hears me and finally sends me my love.

Thor: I actually got to know Thor mostly through comic books. While the comics are not correct on many things, it did get me to read about him and I came to like him as a very humane god.

Damballah: the first god that I had real contact with. I met him through my kooky friend. While I do not call upon him much anymore, I include him out of respect for being the first.

Apsu: I read his story a long time go. In the legend, he is killed by Ea, but in ancient Mesopotamia they had sacred pools to Apsu. So, he must not have really died. He was the sweet waters under the earth and father of the gods. In a special ceremony I drank the sacred waters of this elder god, becoming one of his children. I usually represented him as a dragon on my altar, before I stored it away to move.

Tiamat, the queen of Chaos. Here is how she was pictured by the ancient Mesopotamians. She is the ocean, the earth, the mother of gods, dragons and monsters. In a special ceremony I drank her sacred waters, becoming one of her children.

Here is a modern idea of Tiamat, as the mother of dragons in RPG lore.

This is an amulet worn by her priests in the RPG. I actually think it is really cool and would like to commision someone to make one for me to wear as a dedication to the real Tiamat.

Ganesh is the remover of obstacles. I found him in college and he has been one of my gods since.

Gaea, the earth, mother of all. In a sacred ceremony, similar to the ones ancient kings used to do, I wed the earth mother. Though, I don't plan on being sacrificed for a good harvest.

Abaddon, keeper of the key, the destroyer, angel of death, lord of the demon locusts, guardian of the abyss and the angel whom will lock up the devil for a thousand years at the end of the apocalypse. Many Christians have turned him into a demon, but he is just a lonely darkangel. During my dark days in high school, I found this darkangel and latched onto him. I even wrote him poetry and since I was involved in a couple of accidents that should have taken my life, I think this angel of death heard me and protected me.

I had this great book that I got when I started university, Ancient Ways: Reclaiming Pagan Traditions, and that book was what actually got me into Anthropolgy. In the book it described how in Borneo (or Sumatra), when boys came of age, they were given a tattoo of their green man/horned lord. So, I decided that I needed to get a tattoo of a horned lord/green man figure to mark my coming of age. I decided on Dionysus, because I knew him better than the other ones. Then I found this great painting of Dionysus and the tattoo artist did about half for me for a great price. I love the tattoo, though I wish it covered my whole back instead of a quarter of it. So, Dionysus Greenman has been with me ever since.

Chang Xian (also Zhang Xian). When I was desperate to get my sons adoption approved I prayed to just about any god that would listen. I looked for a god that would help with this specifically. The cloesest I found was this Chinese god. He helps give male children to families, and while he usually does it through birth, I asked him to help me in adopting my son. I said I would put him on my altar if the adoption went through, and it did, so I will keep my promise and put him on my altar when I return home. Besides, I will be adopting agian next year and so I will need him to help me again.

Horus, the sun, the eye, the falcon, the lord. I was really drawn to him and the story of how he had to fight his uncle for vengeance against his father, and how in other older stories he and Set were brothers not nephew and uncle. I also like how the statues of Isis with baby Horus look just like baby Jesus and Mary, and so I am very comfortable with that. In an old ritual I found, I summoned the spirit of Horus into me, like the ancient pharoahs did.

Kuan Yin, she who hears the cries of the world. The childless mother. I could identify with her very easily. I saw this Japanese movie about these orphaned kids and the brother was sent away to live in the Buddhist shrine, but then winter came and the monk got trapped in the town and the boy was left alone. He found the old rundown shrine to Kuan Yin and fixed it up the best he could. He then started having visions of her and then he died from the cold and hunger. She took him to her realm, as she is the mother of all orphans. Since I have become like a father for many orphans, you can see how much I identify with her. So, I hope she hears my cries and grants me the other children that need me and that I want.

Monday, August 4, 2008


Prospero and Ariel

So after I found that wizardry was not giving me the power I desired, I was tempted to start summoning through ceremonial magic. I thought that maybe I could summon an elemental or spirit or if all else failed, summon a demon. I did try to summon and elemental, of which it failed. Then again, I don't think I would have come if some kid called me as well. But as for demons, while I did (and still do) have the books with the information on how to summon them, I was always terrified about something happening to my immortal soul. That did, and still does, terrify me. So, I never messed with them. Life can be hard enough without inviting evil into it. Even if you manage to summon a demon and bind it to your will, it will have its revenge one day. I did want to be a summoner, but I just don't have the will or the true desire for power that it takes. The fantasy was nice though.

Fantasy Summoners


Sigils of the Goetic spirits

The Seals of Solomon

Demon from India, he actually looks like a nicer one

Modern Christian idea of what a demon is, and it is something that does indeed inspire horror

How would you like it if you were imprisoned? Then add that you are an immortal with all the time in the world to exact revenge and you have the power to do it. Not a good future for the jailer is it?

Summoning seems to be the in thing for kids shows now. In Pokemon they get summoned out of balls. In digimon they are summoned out of the computer. But Yugioh was the best at summoning. You even had to sacrifice monsters to get more powerful ones. Then there is also Shaman King, where you must find a spirit to be the focus of your power. I find it very interesting that they use magic in so many kids shows and teach them about it, but that should be expected coming from a country of mostly pagans (Shintoism.)

Sunday, August 3, 2008


When I first started paganism, I hadn't settled on any one faith. I just started experimenting with different things. But I think that I always had this idea in the back of my head about magic. I hated the town my mother raised me in. I still do. My mother tries to get me to move back all the time, but she does not understand how much I hate that town. They are a very small minded redneck town. My mom doesn't think it is a redneck town, but my mother is a conservative republican with their same bigoted views and their same oppressive ideas. When I thought of magic, I thought of escape. I thought that I could use magic to open the door to another universe, a universe of wonder, and escape through it. But, sadly, magic doesn't work that way. I got brainwashed into believing Hollywood magic was real. I wanted to be like Captain Marvel, where I would call upon the powers of the gods and be a superhero. Or I wanted to be Promethea, calling upon not only the powers of the gods (Thoth and Hermes) but also all the realms of imagination. Yes, I know Promethea is a girl, but to quote the male Promethea in the story, "I never wanted to be a woman, but I always wanted to be a goddess," (or something similar to that.) Both characters use the powers of the gods. I was so in love with mythology in those days. The most powerful image burned into my mind from those days was actually the Phoenix. I so wished to have that awesome cosmic power. It would allow me to go anywhere and do anything. But, nothing ever came to pass. I am still just me, no divine powers and no cosmic powers.

Captain Marvel



So then I thought maybe if I study enough and try to find that inner power enough, I could be a wizard or sorcerer, like Dr. Strange, and with that I could get out of the town and have grande adventures. Or be like a Ley Line Walker like in the Rifts RPG, travelling to other dimensions and meeting alien beings. But, I found the rules of wizardry too constricting and so after a while, I lost interest in it.

Dr. Strange

Ley Line Walker

In the end I got out of the town on my own, without the use of magic and so maybe I didn't find the magic I wanted because in the end I never really needed it. I still wish movie and fantasy magic would happen to me, but I have to live my life without it.

Do I still believe in magic? Yes, I actually do. Why? Well there are still so many strange things that happen in the world for me not to. Also, people have believed in magic for thousands of years, it is stupid to just stop believing and call all our ancestors morons. Magic is real, and so are the creatures that live within it. I do believe in science as well, but I don't think we should pit the two against each other. Magic is faith and wonder and emotion and the life of the universe. Science is the orderly way of explaining and changing the universe.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Here I stand

So I am starting this new blog to help organize my thoughts on what I am. So what am I? I would like to think of myself as a work in progress. While my mother raised me in the Church of Christ, I really didn't agree with what they taught. When I was a teen, I had one of those strange and kooky friends that was into paganism, more specifically voodoo. Our talks, my disatisfaction with the church and my strong interest in mythology and other people in the world, led me into paganism. I was living with my father at the time and he encouraged me to find myself, even though he was really hoping that I would find the church. I read this one book, "By Oak, Ash, and Thorn,"

and it was what defined me for a while. I became a Druid in a grove I named the Silent Rose Grove. I also got into Shamanism and one night after I had taken too many herbal supplements ( it's a long story), I had a fevered dream about traveling through a hole in the ground that lead me to a world below full of the dead that "lived" as if they were still alive. I met with many spirits and was proclaimed to be shaman/druid now. For a while, this was my life.

Traditional Druids

Fantasy Druid

Then I graduated high school and moved from Orlando, to New Orleans. It changed me even more, with the strong pagan community, the voodoo and the Catholic mysticism. I really got into the way of magic there and felt that everything was a sign and everything had something to tell me. I still think of it as the most magical time of my life. But then several very bad things happened to me and I decided to leave New Orleans for my safety and sanity.

Decatur Street, where I used to Live

I moved to South Carolina where I attended Spartanburg Methodist College, and had to go underground. But I was still very different to the people there and it got so bad that I was getting spit on (and not in the wish you luck Greek way.) I moved to Charleston and my spiritual life was put on hold while I tried to fix my physical life, but then another crisis loomed and I decided to move back near my hometown in Florida. My mother got me an apartment next to Brevard Community College and I got a job and buckled down. I got my 2 year degree in a year and then moved back in with my mom for 9 months while I waited to go to the University of Central Florida. While I was with my mom, I started dating a pagan. It was not a good relationship and didn't last long, but I was taken to meet a Santero Priest and the Bishop of Florida (so he said) and he told me that he could see that I was and old soul and that I have been alive 3 times before. He said my first life was as an Atlantean and my last life was as an American Indian. This got me interested in spirituality again and even though he was Santero, it got me into Buddhism (to learn more about reincarnation.)

I studied more about Buddhism and Taoism while I was in University. I became a vegetarian, meditated and did yoga. I started dating a martial artist, whom wanted to teach me White Dragon Kung Fu, which I did want to learn, but not from someone I was sleeping with. We had a huge blow out fight later, when we were both graduating. I wanted to move out west, and that was unacceptable, so we broke up. I still think about that relationship as the one of the best I ever had. I joined the Americorp and moved to New Mexico. There I found a bit of peace in the land itself. It is known as the "Land of Enchantment" for a reason. I still miss the land and the sunsets and the spirituality I felt there. I got into Shamanism again and fell in love with Navajo and Pueblo religious lore. I also learned to merge my Christian upbringing with my new beliefs into something that made me feel almost whole after so many years of searching. But something was missing.

Sunface Kachina

I was still Buddhist and felt I needed to explore that part of myself and so I took a teaching job in Korea. I thought that if I journeyed to the far east I would find the true teachings of Buddhism and be fulfilled enough to take them home with me. Sadly, I found that Korea is in the midst of a spiritual war, as Christians have overtaken the capital city, Seoul, and the constant harrassment to convert has lead to spiritual numbing in me. It is also because they have taken the teachings of the man in strange ways. I witnessed a priest telling his congregation that Koreans automatically go to Heaven by virtue of being Korean and that if you are foriegn and marry a Korean, you will go to heaven as well. The obvious nationalism and bigotry there just disgusted me and made me fell disgusted with my own Christianity. Also, the Buddhism here is not spiritually fulfilling for me. But, there has been one thing here that has led me to being fulfilled. I am now a father and I feel great joy in that. I also feel an urgency to find myself, so that I can help lead my son to himself. I fear though that life in America will be hard, when we show up and are not Christian.

A famous Korean Buddhist monk

Since my son was adopted, and it was a private adoption, the only way to adopt many foreign children (and that no one seems to know about,) we have to wait 2 years before he can get a visa to America. We have actually finished our wait, but I would like to adopt again, and so we are moving to Mongolia. They are in the midst of a buddhist revival there, with many Tibetans having fled to their sisterland. I feel that it may offer me what I am really looking for, both spiritually and family wise.

Mongolian Buddhist Altar