The Crown of the North (30 Days of Arianrhod–Preface)

Several writers I follow have decided to take up a sort of writing/devotional challenge, the “30 Days of Devotion.”  Essentially NaNoWriMo, except not at all.

I saw they were doing it, looked away from the screen and promptly tried to ignore the nagging notion that I should do so, too.

“But I’m new to all this stuff, and I’m hardly educated, and definitely not a good re-constructionist” I complained, and then tried to distract myself with the latest updates of my generally attractive friends’ pictorial representations of their life on that blue-and-white site we’re all stuck on.

Oh, right.  Blue and White. Back again to the thought. 

Then, I tried to distract myself by making lots of tea, and then I remembered a good friend of mine asked me for a Tarot reading.  I lost one of the Ogham fews he made for me, the one you’d prefer to lose because it means you probably lost it for a reason.  It’s Koad, means Grove, and represents the “whole cycle/wheel of the year” and “central balance and possibility”  They were all made of a certain sort of wood sacred to one of my gods, and that wood doesn’t grow around here, so I haven’t been using said divination set. 

Thinking on this, I rolled a cigarette, walked outside to the oak tree to smoke and think before going back inside to do said divination, and then noticed that the bone, bell, crystal and wood fetish I’d made to honor the spirits of this place I’m living, strung together with the two wands I use, was moving slightly in the breeze (as I say, there was a breeze).  Staring at it and smiling, I remembered the wand I use most often, one of the two framing this charm, is of the same wood as my Ogham set.

No excuse. I cut off a piece, carved the line-and-x, and added it to the bag of the others.

“But I don’t know enough,” I complained to myself, throwing the Ogham fews to determine whether or not I should even bother with such a thing. 

The answer, in essence, “Yup.”

“Which god/dess, then?” I said, expecting it to be the one I know most about, the one even Christians know plenty about. That’s be fun and easy.

I got my answer. And then ignored it.

I then pulled the cards for my friend’s divination, because I could use duty as an excuse to distract myself.  The aforementioned deity could almost be said to have sabotaged it, turning what was going to be a traditional wand-and-chalice spread into a Wheel spread.

 I don’t know.  Like I said, I’m just some guy who–

Nevermind.  I’m listening.

So, over the next month (see the date? I’m starting late, but so are they), I’ll be writing “answers” to 30 questions.  I honestly don’t know as many answers as I’d like, or, better put, don’t feel that I know enough to confidently speak about her in a way I can teach others about her. Unfortunately (or, rather fortunately), I’ve realised that’s probably why she wants me to do it.  So I’ll learn.

So, bear with me while an Anarcho-Punk, just-back-from-pilgrimage, tea-soaked Bard-in-Training with crazy dreams and way too many words attempts to answer the following 30 questions about the goddess he feels least comfortable talking about publicly.  See what she’s on about?

(Also, I know most of my readers aren’t pagan.  You may find this interesting anyway.  Or you may not. I promise to at least use some of my more interesting words.)

The Questions:
 I. A basic introduction of the deity
II. How did you become first aware of this deity?
III. Symbols and icons of this deity
IV. A favorite myth or myths of this deity
V. Members of the family – genealogical connections
VI. Other related deities and entities associated with this deity
VII. Names and epithets
VIII. Variations on this deity (aspects, regional forms, etc.)
IX. Common mistakes about this deity
X. Offerings – historical and UPG
XI. Festivals, days, and times sacred to this deity
XII. Places associated with this deity and their worship
XIII. What modern cultural issues are closest to this deity’s heart?
XIV. Has worship of this deity changed in modern times?
XV. Any mundane practices that are associated with this deity?
XVI. How do you think this deity represents the values of their pantheon and cultural origins?
XVII. How does this deity relate to other gods and other pantheons?
XVIII. How does this deity stand in terms of gender and sexuality? (historical and/or UPG)
XIX. What quality or qualities of this god do you most admire? What quality or qualities of them do you find the most troubling?
XX. Art that reminds you of this deity
XXI. Music that makes you think of this deity
XXII. A quote, a poem, or piece of writing that you think this deity resonates strongly with
XXIII. Your own composition – a piece of writing about or for this deity
XXIV. A time when this deity has helped you
XXV. A time when this deity has refused to help
XXVI. How has your relationship with this deity changed over time?
XXVII. Worst misconception about this deity that you have encountered
XXVIII. Something you wish you knew about this deity but don’t currently
XXIX. Any interesting or unusual UPG to share?
XXX. Any suggestions for others just starting to learn about this deity?

Answers to follow, possibly out of order.  There will be more questions than answers, too.  Insight welcome.
Also, want to know more about Odin, Eros, and Dionysos? Follow those links.  Cred goes to Ruadhán for initiating this whole thing.  And if anyone else is doing it and wants a link here, let me know.

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