During a divination back in the day, Lilith said something that stuck to my spiritual bones.
“He withdrew his favor but but he could never take my Fire.”
She commented that she will find and lift up the forsaken. She sees the world clearly and acts within it boldly. She teaches us to make something from nothing, to turn the desert into a fertile queendom. Lilith offers the transformation of a life of longing and craving into a life of fulfillment, if we’re willing to get our hands dirty and shake the foundations of our world.
A couple of years ago, I began deepening my relationship with Lilith, the Witch Mother. I conducted a ritual of communion with her in which I offered fragrant anointing oil, red wine, blood, and invocations. After the invocation I could feel her encircle me and I realized in that moment that Hekate had played a part in connecting me with Lilith during a summer festival earlier that year. During the communion ritual, Lilith interrogated me in serpent form, asking me questions that I had never asked myself before.
When my encounter with her ended, I began to understood her, though I was only scratching the surface. She offers freedom from ignorance, from slavery, from blind acceptance of authority. What’s more, she offers freedom from the rigid, walled spaces within us that block us from ourselves and thus from growth, change, and self-knowledge. We must have safe spaces, but when those places become our prison (as they tend to do), Lilith frees us, no matter the cost. When we accept her outstretched hand we are compelled to embrace our true nature in its entirety and comprehend ourselves utterly. Over the course of my time with her, she has demanded conscious will, righteous power, unashamed agency, unapologetic autonomy, and the full fire of my soul. She insists that I know exactly what I desire, know my worth, and don’t settle for less. I often fall way short of that high call, but I am enriched and refined by the striving – tempted to fall or rise, and tempered by the Cunning Fire.
Since 2011, I’ve maintained the shrines for the gods and spirits that I honor in relatively close quarters. Streamlining my devotional spaces improved the flow of my spiritual work considerably and made it easier for me to accomplish various tasks. When I moved about two and a half years ago, I thought about changing my shrine arrangement back to what it had been prior to 2011: multiple sacred spaces diffused throughout my apartment. The prior arrangement had its benefits (without question), but because streamlined space functioned so well for me, I’ve not felt compelled to change it back. Honestly though, a lot has changed since 2011. For one, I work with more gods and spirits now than I did then. Also, the differences among the powers I honor are more pronounced now than a few years back.
Given the deepening differences among the powers I work with, I’m much more mindful of who is neighbors with whom. I work to ensure that everyone has their own zone and is not neighbors with anyone they can’t or won’t tolerate. Similarly, I’m also paying more attention to which powers are willing to buffer energy flows among other powers. Given the limited real estate that I have for shrines and the personal needs that I have for temple keeping, zoning and buffering are my friends. Honoring the lines – real and imagined – between certain Holy Powers has meant a few things for me:
- Every power has their own section on the surfaces that I use for shrines.
- Also, the powers are roughly grouped by pantheon and general “areas of influence” in order to reduce the chances of raised hackles across real and imagined lines.
- In addition, I am mindful of whose shrine is “active” at any given time and I work to ensure that powers with potential beef between them do not have their shrines active at the same time.
- I also observe a purification regime that helps to keep me clear as I move among the sacred spaces for each power.
The above considerations have helped me to better serve “phenomenal cosmic powers” in an “itty bitty living space” (to quote the Genie from Disney’s Aladdin).