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Author Topic: First Time Spiritual Experience With a Deity?  (Read 751 times)

LilliumStargazer

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First Time Spiritual Experience With a Deity?
« on: July 21, 2017, 07:06:21 pm »
Let me say first that I’ve been a long-time tarot practitioner for many years, and I think that was sort of my gateway into paganism, and the idea of a different sort of religion. I was raised in a sort of anti-religion household and I didn’t really have a very positive upbringing. In my early teens, I dabbled a little in wicca, but couldn’t really connect well with it. However I was introduced to tarot and meditation and connected very strongly with it, and the idea of energies and a sort of driving universal force.

In the past few years, after finally getting away from negative family relationships, I’ve been able to really evaluate what’s important to me, and things that I like, going to school, and all around trying to become a better, more rounded person.

On my desk, I have a sort of mini-alter with things that make me feel happy and more connected, an Anubis statue, various crystals, a lotus incense holder. I never intentionally set this up as an altar, but it just kind of ended up being this little mini-shrine. I’ve been fascinated with Anubis since I was a very young child, and I’ve always felt connected to him when I think back on it now.

When I first got away from my abusive family situation, I felt really lost around my first birthday, and my roommate ended up getting me a statue of Anubis and a set of Egyptian wind chimes, mind you I’d never really told them I was super into Anubis or anything but I must have mentioned it once or twice and she’d gotten me the statue.

A month or so later, I was looking into going to college online and the ad I found for the school I ended up picking had an image of Anubis on it. I later learned that Anubis was considered the opener of ways, and I briefly wondered if he was opening the way for me, but I sort of put it out of my mind.

A week ago, I was having a bit of a hard time with an issue and I felt incredibly alone and frustrated, and I was just thinking a lot about things, and I glanced at the Anubis statue on my desk. On a whim, I found a guided meditation for connecting with a spirit guide, and sat in my chair and meditated. I’ve had some interesting experiences meditating, but never anything like this.

Anubis appeared to me in a forest, and though he didn’t speak much, he pressed his head to mine and just gave me a hug. I got such a strong feeling of love and pride from him and the meditation that later when I came out of my meditation there were tears pouring from my eyes, which I’ve never ever experienced while meditating. He “told” me he wanted to share bread with me, and wrapped his arm around me, and pointed to the moon. I’ve always thought of Anubis as a stern and scary sort, not in a bad way, but in the statue of Anubis I own is very stern and strong looking. He doesn’t look like a huggy sort.

After this, I sat in silence for a long time, sort of unsure how to proceed. I consider myself a really grounded and practical type of person, and I don’t consider myself deeply spiritual. I’m one of those types that likes to see results. I’ve seen and done extremely accurate tarot readings, I’ve seen the law of attraction work well for me and similar things. But I kind of attribute these things to just a sort of universal energy, and the idea that there’s a reason for everything.

After I had gathered myself, I actually went to my little makeshift shrine, and lit some incense before my Anubis statue, I felt a really strong urge to offer him something, and I did a quick search on offerings and how to offer to a deity. I read that offerings of bread were sometimes made to Anubis, and I wondered if that was what he’d been asking for in my meditation. I made an offering of bread with him, and as I did so, I got a deep feeling of happiness. I told him thank you, and I’m sort of wondering now, if he might be my patron.

For this past week, I've been working with him, and giving him an offering once in the morning, and once at night. He's surprisingly...talkative? I feel like it doesn't make much sense but it's almost like reading tarot cards like I just get a sensation of his voice. I've never had anything like it really, and while I've opened up to one or two friends about this, and they think it's amazing. However, it kind of scares me a little. I've never connected with any kind of deity before.

I was wondering if maybe I could get some insight or thoughts on how to build a practice around this? I'm currently looking into Kemetic Orthodoxy, but there are some aspects of it that I don't know would fit for me. I've signed up for their beginner's class but lessons are not until October, and I'm still trying to explore in the meanwhile.

Jenett

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Re: First Time Spiritual Experience With a Deity?
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2017, 02:19:40 pm »
I was wondering if maybe I could get some insight or thoughts on how to build a practice around this? I'm currently looking into Kemetic Orthodoxy, but there are some aspects of it that I don't know would fit for me. I've signed up for their beginner's class but lessons are not until October, and I'm still trying to explore in the meanwhile.

Anubis is one of the deities my tradition has worked with regularly, and I've always found him very much giving off that sense of pride and accomplishment when it's appropriate.

(I've tended to come around to feeling he has high standards, but is supportive of helping you reach them and delighted when you do - so yes, that sometimes comes across as stern, but it's a 'in there with you wanting you to do the thing' stern that you might get from a really involved teacher or music instructor or sports coach, not at arms length.)

Here's some things that might be helpful to you:

1) There are lots of ways to have Kemetic practices that are not Kemetic Orthodoxy.

If you find out that's not a good fit for you, don't despair! The Reformed Kemetic SIG here is a good place to get a sense of the range, and there are other options you can find out about in discussions there.

2) There are lots of ways to build connections with deity.

It sounds like you've made a really good start. The two big things I'd caution against early on are making significant long-term commitments to a deity (they sometimes work out, but it's a bit like agreeing to marry someone you've just met. Probably not the wisest choice, and generally the people you want to make a long-term commitment to will understand you don't want to leap in without caution)

Making a 3 or 6 month commitment to explore and learn and then renewing it is a sensible way to go about it.

(Doing this for increasing lengths of time often works well. Maybe the first time is 3 months, then the next time is 6, or to a point where you'd want to mark a yearly renewal, the next one after that is a year, do that for a couple of years before considering a really long-term option)

I'm coming from a religious witchcraft perspective, but there's three essays on my Seeking site that talk about deity interactions. They're the last four essays on this page index.

3) Be careful of any kind of significant daily/frequent commitment

Chances are, sometime down the road you're going to be travelling, or you're going to be miserably sick, or you're going to be in hospital (or spending time with someone who is) where there are tons of limits on what kinds of offerings you can make or when you can make them.

For ongoing committed practice, think really hard about what you're committing to, and whether you can do that in those situations or any others. Making a physical offering if you're able to is great - it's the "I'll do this every day" that you want to watch out for.

Fresh water is also a really common Kemetic offering, and that one is actually accessible in a lot of cases, but "good quality bread" might not be, and incense or anything scented or smoke definitely has challenges in a lot of settings.

(Basically, what I'm trying to say here is that bread is a great offering, and especially if that's what he wanted! Just be wary of promising to do it every day or even every week.)

4) There are lots of resources out there for Anubis

He's got a reputation (and I think for good reason) for being one of the gateway deities, not just because of his associations with opening the way - he's one of the deities a number of people have initial interactions with. Sometimes they stay working closely with him or attached to him, but sometimes people move on to other deities as they learn more about a particular culture or develop their understanding of what they want to do better.

(Which is another good reason to be cautious of really long-term commitments initially. You don't want to feel you're breaking an agreement if in a year or two you're feeling a strong call elsewhere. It's a lot easier to wrap up a current agreement, make your farewells in a caring and respectful manner, and move on deliberately without feeling guilty.)

If you're open to reading stuff that's not rooted solely in Kemetic practice, there's a (lengthy) chapter about him in a collection edited by Judy Harrow called Devoted to You. It came out a while ago (2003) so almost all of the Internet sources in it probably don't work anymore or have moved, but the book presents a good way to deepen interactions with a deity and ideas on how to do that, plus for the four deities they talk about, it's someone with specific long-term interactions with that deity talking about how that works for them, and ways to integrate or make sense of different information.

One thing that I'd suggest in addition to whatever ritual practices you might decide on (like offerings) is to include a way to learn about topics of interest to him (and your relationship with him) - that could be books, podcasts, websites, documentaries, all sorts of things. Anubis is associated with a number of different things, and people often first get familiar with him in context of his roles relating specifically to the afterlife and death, but there are also larger roles of opening the way, and boundaries, and related things that may be more where you want to focus. When I do this kind of information accumulation, I do it really widely - not just "this is a book about Egyptian deities" but "this is a current non-fiction book about the death industry" or "this is about boundaries and how to develop them" or "this is about different ways to be open to possibilities."

It's usually not my only reading/listening/etc. but having it be a regular part of my rotation is really helpful when I'm in that mode - I'll often be reading something mildly related and then go "Oh!" and make an important connection.

It's often also worth exploring art related to a deity - making it, not just looking at it, even if you think you're not good at the art part! Often there will be inspiration or things coming up for you that help you better develop your interactions or think about the most relevant parts.
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Sefiru

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Re: First Time Spiritual Experience With a Deity?
« Reply #2 on: July 24, 2017, 07:08:50 pm »
I made an offering of bread with him, and as I did so, I got a deep feeling of happiness.

I haven't got much to add to Jenett's post (throrough as usual); I will say that I had a very similar experience to the above the first time I made a water offering to Set & company. (I have 3 deities who I primarily honor.)

Quote
I consider myself a really grounded and practical type of person, and I don’t consider myself deeply spiritual.

Hey, you can be practical and spiritual at the same time - they're not mutually exclusive.

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