I had a fabulous conversation tonight with my goddess Mara as I made offerings for her help in my girlfriend's job hunt. She has an interview tomorrow, might as well do what I can to help, right? For a long time, I've kept my offerings to Mara - mostly interesting and unusual coins, but also some stones and other symbolic items - in their own little bowl. I also tend to give her money when I really need something. You have to spend money to make money, in other words.
Until recently, the stones that belonged to my girlfriend sat on a different altar, but I brought home a new figure from the Value Village over the weekend and it was time to rearrange the altar space again. We've always maintained separate altars since moving in together but now we've integrated them for the first time. "Her" stones and shiny bits ended up right next to "Mara's" offering dish of shiny bits. I thought about it for a minute and then the answer came to me quite clearly.
What's hers is ours and what's ours is hers. Not because there's anything special about me, mind you, but because almost all things are hers, and because the idea of owning something is so nebulous when you stop to think about it. Still reflecting on this, I burned a relic of the past, did some dishes, and opened my feed reader.
The second prompt is now up for New Year, New You and it's a lot less epic and sweeping than last week's. This week it's about the down to earth things: what I'm actually going to do, not just what I want the outcome to be.
1. How are you going to accomplish these large goals in your daily life? You need to start breaking it up into bite sized pieces. Our particular Experiment goes until Valentine's Day. What can you reasonably expect to accomplish by then? How will you do it?
Health: Re-start the 100 pushups goal and resume doing daily situps as well. Instead of getting on the train immediately when I make a connection, walk a few blocks to the next stop instead. Wealth: Continue applying for jobs. Rearrange the budget to emphasize paying down debt. Mind: Practice exposure for sources of anxiety and obsessive thoughts as much as possible. Creativity: Start working on my next novel, with the first chapter up by the end of the year. Tour the two shop spaces I've located in Portland and see what other options are out there. Magic: Do casual magic - offerings to deities, simple sex magic, etc - daily, and more intensive ritual once a week.
2. What magical acts (rituals, spellwork, whatever it is you do) can you do to help you accomplish this goal?
Health: Meditation for stress relief. Wealth: Put together a mojo bag for future interviews. Mind: Study coincidences as part of the exposure process. Creativity: Write a ritual for banishing writer's block and invoking my characters. (Good ol' chaos magic.) Magic: All of the above and more, really
3. Use your preferred method of divination to figure out both what you can do to make sure these goals will happen and also to figure out what road blocks keep you from this.
I'll be doing this later this week. If the results look helpful, I'll post more about it.
4. Consult whatever inner or outer spirits you may work with as to what's blocking you from achieving your goals.
And this rather neatly brings it back around to what I was already doing tonight without realizing it. It's not just that I give offerings to Mara and she gives things to me. It's about understanding that all so many of these things are already sacred to her. When I give money to a cause or a person, that's an offering to her but it's also a way for her to spread money through me. Acts of commerce, especially with local or small businesses, are sacred to her. Going to my job every day and earning a paycheck is, in a small way, an offering to her.
I'm going to try to touch base with each of my deities before the new year and make sure that I'm where I'm supposed to be. Hopefully it's not too difficult a hike from where I am.