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As I write this, I am home again.

All told, I was gone for 10 days – I left on Thursday, returned home on Saturday. Today is Sunday, and my apartment is mostly set to rights again. I had no damage to the building, though my entire garden on the balcony is pretty much destroyed. I’ve gone grocery shopping, mostly replenished the stuff that I had to throw away, and have done some laundry. I’m very happily wearing an outfit that didn’t come out of a suitcase.

This whole experience was exceptionally disruptive to my spiritual practice. (Duh?) I spent 10 days without a way to kindle a fire, no way to light incense, and in the home of family who are so devoutly Christian that the room I was staying in has been decorated in what I jokingly refer to as “ostentatious Hobby Lobby chic”. Crosses all over everything. Bible verses everywhere. Angels in all of the art. My parents are wonderful people, and they know that I’m no longer Christian, but it was very jarring to wake up and have an artfully arranged display of crosses be the first thing my eyes set on every morning.

It wasn’t an unpleasant week, all things considered, but it was a challenging one. Being at the mercy of nature (and the electric company). Being displaced from your home with no way to tell what was going on. I’m one of the lucky ones who had a home to go back to – many in coastal Texas this week are not so fortunate. I’m left thinking about what my private devotions *should* look like in such a situation, and all told I think I did pretty well. While my parents said their very-Christian grace over dinner each night, I said my own in my head, or said the Cosmos prayer if I couldn’t think of a meal blessing.

Actually, I said the cosmos prayer a lot.

I think, if I had to make a bug-out kit for future hurricanes, I’d include Ceisiwr Seriths A Book of Pagan Prayer in there, just for some variation. Writing prayers to help others is easy, but writing prayers for yourself when you’re in the middle of trouble is much harder.

I did write a prayer that I sent out to my grove though:

Mighty Kindred, we pray your help and blessings on all those in Houston and all of southeast Texas. May your spirits come to those in need, whether in the form of mental comfort or in the form of aid and rescuers, whatever they may need. Bless all those who are helping their neighbors, human and animal alike, that they may be safe, and that they may bring succor and safety to others.

Ancestors, blood of our blood and spirit of our spirit, we pray you give us strength – you were people who knew the challenge of building and rebuilding. As we enter the last phase of this storm, and move to facing what’s next, may we find your resilience and courage as we seek to re-order our lives.

Nature Sprits, you who are also displaced and affected by this storm, we pray you will be our allies, and that we can be yours. May we, as kindred of this middle realm, know that we are neighbors, and may we look out for each other as we rebuild, finding both our own place and yours after the storm

Deities, known and unknown, first children of the Mother, we pray you will give us guidance and comfort. Grant your wisdom to those who are helping, and your patience to those who have nothing to do but wait. As we move to rebuild, grant your strength to us all, that we may do the most good where it is most needed. Most especially, we pray that you who rule over releasing the waters will guide the last of these waters so that they will do the least amount of harm.

Kindreds all, we look to you now, and we ask that you bless each of us according to our needs – strength, patience, guidance, comfort. May we live our virtues in this time of trouble, and may we, as your kin, look to you now as we endure the last that this storm has to offer, and may we look to you always, as we rebuild and bring our lives back together.

Be it so!

And so we move forward. The storm is past, and now it is up to us to recover. To serve those who need help, and to piece together what we can of the old and create something new from it. (Easy for me to say, from my apartment which has power and internet working again already.)

My practice did not suffer for spending 10 days displaced, though it did adapt and change.

My runes for this week are:

  • Peordh – the dice cup, an uncertain outcome
  • Is – ice, stasis/beauty/danger
  • Ur – the aurochs, strength and stubbornness

The outcome of any storm is never certain – may you know when to be still and wait and when to fight with the stubbornness of the aurochs, that you may overcome the challenges ahead of you.

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