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Turns out two years ago when I started the Pagan Blog Project, I was awful at it. Let this be a lesson, kiddies: beating yourself up for not writing on schedule is Not Useful. I’m not planning on announcing that I’m going to do it better this year, because I suck at those letter posts. But I do want to talk about something.  Over the past two years my spiritual life has taken a fairly decided turn for the odd, and I want to get some of it down somewhere.

Nowadays, the focus of my practice has shifted quite a bit. I’m still a witch. I’m still studying Feri. But my focus has changed from aimed squarely at two pantheons, to aimed at a handful of deities and a vast number of spirits.  The really fun part is the vast majority of these spirits are from pop culture: either straight up fictional characters who others would recognise or spirits who work according to the underlying rules or cosmology of a fictional world, but aren’t named/encountered in the canon of that world. That’s the bulk of my spirituality these days, the encounters I have with these beings.

The really interesting thing about all this, and the reason I’m wanting to blog again, requires a bit of back story. For years, I thought I couldn’t journey to other worlds. Even when I got a better understanding of how journeying works and realised I could in fact do it, I found I couldn’t go to otherworlds that other people knew: I can try til I’m blue in the face to go to Vanaheim, for example (and I have), but I just can’t do it. At least not consciously- my god soul seems perfectly capable of wandering anywhere ze pleases, and indeed, has been encountered by people I know in all kinds of places, but my Talker and Fetch have seemingly got an otherworldly passport that won’t get them in most otherworlds. As far as I’m aware, thus is neither me Doin’ It Wrong, nor a ‘this is a local hell, for local demons, we don’t want your sort round here’ type issue. I’ve come to suspect that it may just be how I’m wired.

I can, however,  go somewhere. One place, in fact. I always jokingly called it Wonderland,  because it seemed unique to me and to change in response to my thoughts and ideas and all kinds of other things. My Feri teacher talks about ‘The Secret Country of Your Self’ and uses it as the basis of the shadow work I’m currently working through with her and my fellow student. Before this shadow work,  Wonderland changed in response to all kinds of things. But I found that as a visited the same location repeatedly, the landscape solidified. One day, I decided to take another path than the ones I’d customarily travelled and found my Beloved Trickster waiting for me. We talked about what I was trying to do, and he explained that as a rule, I didn’t go to otherworlds to see my gods or spirits,  that they instead came to Wonderland to see me, when I called.  Then, he suggested that Wonderland wasn’t quite as ‘in my head’ as I thought it was.  The way he put it was; “It’s off the beaten track of the World Tree, this place. You aren’t likely to get visitors unless they know how to find it.. but this is real, you know.” And then he grinned and took another drag on the scraggy end of his roll up and added: “For a given value of real, anyway.’

We kept walking and reached what I could only describe as the edge of the world. The ground faded out, the sky vanished and ahead, was the Void.
“You carved it out of Dreamstuff, ” he said, “and set it floating in Mother Void without realising. It’s small, right now. A temporary haven for you,  with a little space for those gods and spirits you love to visit. It’s nebulous. The only defined parts are the parts you’ve visited more than once. So no one can stay here but you. It could be more, though. I know it bothers you that I never showed you Jotunheim, or Asgard. Or Morpheus never taking you to see Olympos. This is why. This could be a whole world. A place for all the gods and spirits you love, the ones that are spread across fiction. Talk to Morpheus about it. Think it over.”

I did, later on. We talked about stories and the nature of them, and how the only way I’ve always defined myself throughout my life is as someone who loves stories. “People gravitate to things that bring them joy, but also things that are spiritually relevant. You try so hard to make the Eddas, or the Iliad, or other myths the central touchstone of your spirituality, even though it scarcely fits. You didn’t fall for me when you read Greek mythology, you read the first few issues of Sandman. You didn’t fall for Loki when you read the Eddas, you found him in modern poetry. It seems clear to me which ones ought to be propping up your practice. You find traces of us in every story you read, except the ‘official’ stories. Isn’t it time to acknowledge that?”

I couldn’t argue with his logic. Part of this work, it seemed, was taking the Wonderland I’d carved out and making it into a full fledged (albeit personal) otherworld,  of sorts. Making room for the cosmology that was slotting together in my head on a daily basis, giving the spirits I knew somewhere else they could stay, if they wanted. Somewhere they could interact with each other,  with me and with my personal pantheon.

One very bizarre and not entirely pain free initiatory experience later.. and now, it’s huge. More than it ever was before. Moreover, it’s stable. There’s a constant geography now and more spirits live there than I could possibly get to know. There’s a society,  made of a mix of fictional ideas I love and stuff I’d never even heard of til I came across it. My fictional loves may have been the inspiration,  going in, but it’s not under my control, anymore. It’s evolving on its own. Not bad for a ritual cobbled together from the occasional clairsentient download and a whole bunch of intuition.

I spend a lot of time exploring. Apparently it helps the place solidify, or something. But the other interesting twist is that the gods of this world are my personal pantheon- and there are religious observances and temples and a whole tradition based around just these gods. As soon as I realised that, my gods straight up informed me that going forward this would be my primary religious influence, not the religious traditions that honour them here on Earth. I was to take the celebrations in my Wonderland as the basis for my practice. It’s a shift, but I can’t say it doesn’t feel right.  (At least for now.  Trickster luck being what it is, I know better than to assume things won’t change.)

I want to write about this stuff, because it’s not quite strict PCP. Most Pop Culture Paganism takes the canon of the source quite seriously and rarely deviates. This is like my weird personal crossover fanon brought to life, almost. (Though I suspect it stopped being that when I lost control of it.) And I thought maybe it would be interesting. The reason I’ve been sitting on it for at least six months or longer is because I was scared of being side eyed by the rest of the Internet.

Apparently, this is not enough of an excuse,  and I know better than to argue with both my divine husbands.


One Comment

  1. Write ALL the things!

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