During this month’s retrograde period, Mercury called me to reestablish his altar in my home. I had been acknowledging his presence in my life as usual, but without the benefit of his altar. When I moved from Illinois to Missouri, I transitioned into a smaller apartment which meant less real estate for the Holy Powers. Mercury asked me to bring back his altar space, and so I found a small surface that could accommodate him. I wish I had more room!
Mercury’s altar contains the following goodly gifts gladly given, from left to right:
Before establishing the altar, I cleansed the space with Florida Water, then blessed and consecrated it on a Wednesday during the retrograde period. This may seem a little counter-intuitive but I chose this time to dedicate his space because I tend to hear messages a little more clearly during this time, oddly enough. As a part of the blessing for the altar, I also spoke a prayer to Mercurius. If you’re looking for prayers for Mercurius, Nova Roma offers several on their Aedes Mercuri page. I use these often in my practice.
“Mercurius, by Atlas born to Maia, God who fashioned our uncivilized ancestors into cultured men of urbane speech and athletic bearing, to You I sing, Messenger of the Gods and of mighty Jove, inventor of the curved lyre, it pleases You to compose secret jokes and play pranks skillfully. Gladly You restore pious souls to their proper places and by the golden staff confine the trivial quarrel. Dear are You to the Gods above and below.”
In the last third of 2016 I took a bit of a break from writing and significantly reduced my work here at Wandering Woman Wondering and at Wayfaring Woman (my column on the Agora at Patheos). I’ve included links below to the articles that I did not previously link here. Some of them are updates and revisions to work that I previously presented here on Wandering Woman Wondering, and some are new.
At this time of year (and during Mercury Retrograde cycles) I often find myself reviewing old journal entries and taking stock of what the Powers shared with me in earlier times. In my readings today I encountered a few reflections from August 2012 on an encounter with Mercurius. The journal entry reads:
I began the ritual by purifying myself with castile soap and florida water. I then cleansed the space with Sage leaves. I lit the hearth candle, prayed to Vesta, and then invoked Mercury using a combination of ancient prayers from Horace and Ovid. Mercury filled the space. At that time I made offerings of Zeylon Cinnnamon, Mercury Incense from Alchemy Works, Mercury & Shower of Gold oils from Beads n Botanicals (a local Pagan shop), as well as Mercury stick incense from Beads n Botanicals. I also gave him a glass of beer. After offerings I slipped into trance unexpectedly.
He nearly shouted: “I am a living, breathing god. The spirit of this world. I am in sight, and sound, and sense. Come to my temple with incense and I will tell you more.”
By “spirit of this world” I gathered that he meant to align himself with the essence of civilization and of the relational economy of this planet’s living breathing beings.
I put more incense on the charcoal. I commented that I was not expecting him to be an “ecstatic/mystical experience kind of god”. He said, “Expectation is for the dim witted.” Openness is what I truly need. Expectation narrows the field of vision.
Mercury went on. He communicated the importance of sensing and making sense of experiences with the entire body. Our logical minds receive input from a host of human senses and the output of our logical minds is applied via a host of human senses. Nothing functions within a vacuum. I had been relegating Mercury to the airy realms of mind and logic and cold calculated distance but in reality, he is one of many lords of the senses and relatedly of perception. And so he is one of the many lords of the world. He sees the patterns but he sees with more than just his eyes from a distance. He touches this world! He smells it and tastes it and hears it too! Then he laughs and jets off to the next experience.
Near the close of our conversation he breathed upon me and I was entirely within my body. There was no other time, no other place, no other moment. Only me. Only here. Only now. I nearly passed out. And then he was gone.