Etymology of My Gods

That word for god — the breath, the gleaming — the shining days like great columns bearing up the sky, buttresses, rafters. Beams that in their falling, hold.

I say the names of my deities, I feel the drop of each sound into silence. They gather on the long, bent grasses in the meadow and the field, *dewos-, the many that glisten in the coming dark. Amulets of sky, jewels of the daylight, coalescing in the movement of my breath, the lingering touch of the wind. They draw themselves, wavering, into the weight and gravity of form.

I open the door, and the gods enter the dark interior of my being. The gust, the call, tracing themselves in the dust of the rafters, the shift that shivers down in drifts of gentle gray and grit, mingling particulates stirring in every corner of the sunlight. What is so small and intimate and strange — numen, spirare — the dancing footsteps of spirit in the air, the vital stir of fear, the silent thrill, calling me to courage in the deep spaces of my birth and dying, the liminal between. I am on the threshold, pouring out my breath in quick libations. I am pouring out my soul-song to mingle on the doorsill with the soft noise of their presence.

And She is rising up again, and rising up, she is the exalted queen and lady of all that rises up — the purifying fire and the wellspring of healing waters, the bright, clean sun at daybreak, the serpent stirring in the mound, all thoughts of justice and beautiful compassion aching towards the perfect, the spark and steam of smithcraft in the forge. She rises up, drawing gravity along in ecstatic going-out to meet the inspired act of making, dragging the anchor of my mind into the light and breath of Spirit. The gulf of the sky widens from heaven to horizon, an archway of blue and exhalation, and I am beneath it and within it, I am spiraling and lifted, small and intimate and strange.

And He is circling and moving, a realm and waste that gives his name and takes it back again — the ebb and flow along the shoreline, the horizon and the deep, the mist, the movement of the winds and storm, the heron gliding on long, still wings through the midnight of the newborn sun. He turns his murmuring immensity to touch my listening, gentle and insistent. He wears away the boundaries of my skin, seeping in to claim me for the flux of Spirit, moving in me with the rhythm of my heartbeat, and I am surrounded and within it, I am spiraling and sailing on the mingling waters on the threshold of my being.

And She is resting in fecundity and promise, the mother of all our naming — she is wealth and self-giving, the firm body of our dancing, the bristling flowers of spring and the high harvest of the fall, the rolling curve of the lands always unfurling, the dark cavern of our tombs grown over with pale, delicate lashes of green. She names the earth and world, the sounds of her children coalescing on her lips like drops of dew, all eddies in the mud and rocks and bones and growing things. All verdant and gold, she stirs in me every corner of Spirit with the weight of praise and gravidity, she makes my heavy form and holds it close, and I am made and move within it, I am spiraling and born in the darkness of my body.

I open the door, and the gods enter. The gods enter with their whispering and multiplicity, each one an opening into Spirit, a shining, an embrace. I settle down into my work like someone opening a window, and the breeze comes winding, finding its way into the center of my grasping and obscurity. A breeze that smells of sunlight and summer days across the field, a breeze that languishes heavy with dew in the gloom of the new morning, a breeze that sings the world’s together-song into the waiting silence. I do the work, I pour libations, I pray and wait and let the Spirit come when it will.

The door is like an eye. It grows wide and hungry in the dark.

Alison Leigh Lilly
Alison Leigh Lilly nurtures the earth-rooted, sea-soaked, mist-and-mystic spiritual heritage of her Celtic ancestors, exploring themes of peace, poesis and wilderness through essays, articles, poetry and podcasting. You can learn more about her work here.

0 Comments

Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Gods Like Mountains, Gods Like Mist | Alison Leigh Lilly - […] Wildermuth makes the mistake of labeling me a humanistic/non-theistic Pagan, despite my many, many, many, many writings about my…

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *