31 Days of Devotion, Day 25

Share a time when this deity has helped you.

A few years ago, I was preparing a trip to visit some friends from college who I hadn’t really seen since graduation. We’ve kept in touch through social media, but that’s so often such a shallow connection which really doesn’t substitute for in-person interaction. The plan was to stay a few days with friends who had moved to Virginia (near where I lived for a short time in my youth), travel to Michigan where I went to school, and then travel around the state visiting people before reuniting with the rest of my family for a family reunion. It was to be my first real vacation since I started working, too, so I wanted to make sure that I was able to make the most of the time that I had with my friends – days at most, and sometimes only hours. I wanted to renew the bonds of frith between us, ensure that the wellspring of friendship flowed easily, not obstructed by awkwardness and small-talk.

To this end, I called upon Antinous, often known in our circles as a god of peaceful connections, as well as Hermes, to help with some social lubrication, as it were. I also called upon some nymphs, spirits of the land, to help me be grounded wherever I traveled, to help me know that I am connected.

And, it worked – beautifully, and in surprising ways. First, there were these little instances that surprised me, for instance, people recognizing the town where I’m from, i.e. Poulsbo. This is broadly in the Seattle area, and I frequently come across people in that city who I have to explain where that is. But then there was the TSA agent who was from Spokane, and the clerk at the service desk of the Montiecello House (you know, Thomas Jefferson’s eccentric home), both who recognized where I was from. And, again while I was in Virginia, we went to this old comic shop I frequented as a child. Talking with the owner, I learned he was originally from Bremerton, not ten miles from my town. Small world, eh? Things like this to help a young traveller know he’s being looked after.

Second, there was this beautiful moment on Buckroe Beach, the first time I’d felt the warm waters of an ocean in over a decade. Just walking there on the shore at dusk with my friends, when one of them asked if I could help them with a headache, since I knew some Reiki. Headaches were already kind of my specialty, but in this instance, the magic proved…. effortless. I placed my hands in the aura above her head, the warm wind from the sea going through our hair, and I tapped, ever so gently, into the power of the land, asking for their aid, and then I lifted that headache right from her head, the energy of it dispersing in the wind. We were both surprised at how quickly the pain had fled, and I felt intimately connected to that place. I can’t wait to go back, actually.

Finally, there were the great connections I rekindled with my friends. When I landed in Michigan, I experienced what under normal travelling circumstances would be incredibly inconvenient and frustrating – my flight was incredibly late and my luggage didn’t arrive with me. As a consequence, I arrived late to the first gathering of the trip. But, my host was generous and invited me to stay for an extra day until my luggage arrived, which gave us an opportunity in disguise to really spend time together. All of my connections with friends during that trip proved very deep, no matter how long the duration. I spent an evening with my ex, a lunch with a couple from my alma mater, an afternoon performing a Wiccaning for my Sister Dearest’s baby, and a couple of days with my artsy friend in Kalamazoo, checking out the farmer’s markets and drinking in the heat and sight of fireflies, something we don’t get in Cascadia.

I left my little sojourn feeling so full, the channels between me and my friends flowing strong and clear. I hadn’t really known before that friendships could be sustained over such long distances and across such a significant span of time, as if no time had passed at all. And this gift, this realization, is something that I have Antinous to thank for. He heard me when I called upon him, and helped me feel and be connected to my friends and the lands I travelled through. Such a gift is irreplacable, and I’m forever grateful to him.

Ave Antinoe!

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Antinous by Lynn Perkins (2016)

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