[Written as a contribution to the awesome conversations started by #MyPolytheism]
My polytheism is Arianrhod, stars seen through pine trees on a winter night, sunlight shimmering on the surface of water, reflected upon overhanging branches. Grey-blue storm clouds blown over grassy plains towards dark hills, the scent of chamomile after lightning, the drowning of kingdoms and the ecstasy in shadow.
My polytheism is Brân, flight of ravens over crowded cities, wounded crow perched in an alcove, feathers strewn across a park in late summer. Fallen egg-shell from a hundred-foot tower, sight of wide valleys seen from mountains and the glimmer of sea just beyond. Wet-booted fording of a cold river with a friend, endurance of a giant as knife-edges stab from behind, wet cliffs in midwinter Wales, red alder threaded by path of Elk.
My polytheism’s Ceridwen, that cold blade before Imbolc. Lonely nights wandering alleys of cities while seen only by silver sickle, a make-shift bed in a cornfield along a mountain.
My polytheism’s Gwyn ap Nudd, fearful baying of sirens echoing through stone streets, pounding rain overflowing sewers, black shadow of branch cast by silver moonlight.
My polytheism’s Lugh, that rose-and-gold light falling on brick or cedar, tilt of the earth towards a certain slant of sunlight. Bright spear in Newgrange midwinter’s morn, dancing motes of dust in a quiet room.
My polytheism’s definitely Brighid, laughing in rain, warmed by a fire, ladling cauldrons of food to the hungry. Reforged candles at Imbolc, coins left by a sleeping beggar, warm blankets and burning barricades.
My polytheism’s the gods, and not just mine.
My polytheism keeps pork separate from a meal for a Jew, rearranges smoke breaks so a Muslim co-worker can pray, listens to the faith of Christians and smiles.
My polytheism knows why strangers want to speak to me about the dead, sits watch with a dying homeless woman, holds space for the grief of friends.
My polytheism has nothing to prove.
My polytheism fits seamlessly with the skepticism of the atheists, the curiosity of the agnostic, the bewilderment of the new.
My polytheism likes to climb walls, pick locks, rattle cages. It likes to grow in concrete, uproot sidewalks, topple pillars and overgrow cities.
My polytheism isn’t yours, but it’s hardly mine either. It can’t be taught or learned, bought or sold.
My polytheism doesn’t like chains or gates, fences or prisons.
My polytheism likes to fuck other people, grow inside them like new souls. My polytheism is birthed in strange places, back alleys and sex clubs, rotting hovels and forest trails.
My polytheism smashes fascists, flirts with homophobes, wears dresses if it damn well pleases. It doesn’t care what you’ve got between your legs, but hopes you’re pleasured by what you’ve got.
My polytheism needs nothing.
My polytheism has no altars but thinks they’re pretty, requires no shrines but likes to light candles on them.
My polytheism likes to laugh, to dance at odd times. It leans against trees in the summer heat and sighs, sits on cathedral steps in evenings and gets drunk on others’ joy.
My polytheism changes stuff when you’re not looking, re-arranges thoughts you didn’t know you were thinking.
My polytheism thinks yours is probably pretty damn cool too.
My polytheism gets on its knees to watch butterflies flit between flowers, bends down to let a friend climb my back, kneels to tie the shoe of a child.
My polytheism likes the spectacle of ritual and the ritual of spectacle.
My polytheism laughs at talk of purity, dirties its fingernails in a garden, grips the hand of the homeless and doesn’t use hand-sanitizer.
My polytheism has many gods including me. It needs to master no one, so needs no masters; doesn’t grovel, so makes no one grovel.
My polytheism isn’t afraid.
My polytheism doesn’t need anyone else to believe me, but would worry if everyone did.
My polytheism doesn’t need to be justified.
My polytheism doesn’t need the nation or the races, doesn’t care your pedigree or your training, doesn’t care for degrees or initiations.
My polytheism’s just like my witchcraft, raw and feral and felt deepest in the body.
My polytheism’s just like my politics, taunts bullies and helps the bullied off the floor.
My polytheism a bit like yours, maybe, and your polytheism’s a bit like mine.
My polytheism just is, until it’s something different, and that will be my polytheism, too.