On personal sacrifices and devotions

There has been a lot of blogging lately in regards to more personal devotional relationships people have with their deities, things which go to personal sacrifices that they have felt necessary to make in pursuit of their spiritual life and said divine relationship, to how they feel being impacted by said deity. I have heard from numerous devotees a similar experience among certain gods for being gods that like to turn things topsy turvy on them for instance. In comparison I would say that my relationship with Apollon is more tame, I don’t feel like I am regularly being deconstructed and rebuilt on some sort of emotional-spiritual roller coaster. But then as most readers are probably aware, I don’t talk about the personal experiential side of my love and devotion to Apollon. Mostly because it really isn’t anyone’s business, but also because no one else is likely to find it relevant to their own worship. But I am breaking out of habit for this rare post to speak briefly of how my spiritual life is. First I must ask forgiveness as my words may fail to capture the true depth to put things into words I seldom make the attempt to try to express, but hopefully it will give an idea.

My spiritual life is one of consistency and intensity. There is no build me up and break me apart as I said above, but rather it is like being consumed entirely by flames. Not just metaphorically in that I feel all that I am being consumed into him as all of my life (even though I do give worship to other gods as is appropriate) is taken into his worship and all my activities and life directions are aimed towards his honor and worship. But it is also literally, as in feeling the intense press of heat, like flames eating away at my flesh to touch and illuminate my soul housed within. Now as someone who has had a particular fear of fire being anywhere near my person this may seem unusual that I would embrace said spiritual life…but it is what it is. His presence is like living fire, destroying all that it touches, while the emanations at a further distance bring vitality for fertile generation. It is terrifying and exhilarating, it is warmth and unbearable scorching, and a nearly blinding luminescence  that blurs the edges of the world daring me to try to discern between illusion and reality, for reality is not always as it seems. For truth is that which is stressed within all the fire and light, a never ending yearning to seek truth which is hidden and in plain sight.

But with all this love and devotion it impacts my life, for a cherishing of each moment of devotion and prayer affects those who are close and near who feel perhaps shut out or that I am inaccessible. It is hard on even mortal spousal relationships to have that kind of love and devotional foremost in your life. Perhaps in another era things would have been different in my life as I would have had the opportunity to perhaps serve a temple or some sacred place, to be able to focus all time and energy without concern on my lord and king. But such is not the way things are, it is not possible, and so it seems that “real life” of work and bills gets little more than a sparing effort whereas most efforts and thoughts are directed to my devotion and the expression of that devotion through the arts. It is also expressed when I am able to move off on foot through the secluded woods in utter silence, or to sit beneath a deluge of water and feel it soak deep within my bones.

And things are always evolving further. Not with erupt changes in direction, but with fluid movement into new things and experiences, and new sacrifices to be made. I recently gave up meat and eggs due to a feel of need to remove contamination from my person. Meat was already beginning to cause me stomach issues but when I looked at if from a spiritual level I realized that my best course of action in my spiritual life was to move towards purity, and this meant removing corruptive substances. Now I know some folks like to put tea and coffee in that category, but at this point I am not inclined to agree anymore than I would agree to put wine into that place, for I find these to serve specific purposes that are beneficial. But I have found an impulse to surround myself with pure things. I have long developed the habit of bathing daily, but also now wear rudraskha beads at all times. I pray and let the clean clouds of incense rise so regularly that the smell of incense will probably linger in this house long after I am ever gone from within its walls. Even my inclinations towards covering as a kind of barrier between that which is undesirable in the world and a self containment.

Of course there are always new directions moving. It is like I am slowly being consumed by the flames, rendering me to ash bit by bit, and an unending winding of a symphony that is building layers of experience into its crescendo. Perhaps this symphony is nothing more than the music of my own soul. Whatever the end shall be, I do not know, but I shall not be Cassandra who laments at the fire of Apollon as he draws near. Although it is as breathing in close-sitting flames, and that my very skin would at any moment threaten to peel, it is a pleasure and a beautiful thing that causes my heart to race.

There are sacrifices that are often made to live a spiritual life of devotion, but I can’t think of any, regardless of how this manifests from god to god, who regrets it or has second thoughts of it. I cherish it, and because I cherish it there is no need to speak of it. And so I will end here after giving this brief glimpse.


4 thoughts on “On personal sacrifices and devotions

    • Thank you elani 🙂 It is a bit disconcerting talking of such subjects because it is a rather personal thing, as well as being difficult to aptly describe, but it also seems to me to detract from the gods and put too much me in there. I see no purpose in constantly discussing such things on my blog, but I figure once in a great while can’t hurt, if nothing else but to remind folks that there is a personal individual spiritual side to things even if most of my other posts are more academic discussion in nature 😉

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