This topic has been running around my blogroll – who are the American Gods? This is separate from the NA traditions who have their own rituals and Gods that are specific to them. This is not appropriation or My-Gods-Can-Beat-Up-Your-Gods thing. This is a recognition that the Land has Spirits that are unique to the land, tied to no one people or trad. And Beings that came with our ancestors, hung around, named again or renamed.
Rivers, mountains, valleys, lakes, woodlands and plains. Have you met any? Did They name Themselves? I’d love to hear from you, sharing as much or as little as you are willing or able.
8 thoughts on “American Gods”
I often wonder if my household has ancestral beings that visit — we definitely have seen and felt some non-corporeals. The only one that has named itself is the tall rough-hewn thin man-visaged Being who appeared at our first “Feast of the Wolf” — beside the rock under the cherry tree at the gate of the Walk. When I first saw him, I thought my Manchild had somehow gotten back outdoors without me hearing the door — there he stood, shadowy in the firelight from the pit. Then the back door slammed, and as “he” vanished, I called “But who are you?” He answered “Hrolf,” and thus came the “wolf counselor” on our February Feast of the Wolf.
The big rough stone had been placed there to be home to a wight, in hopes of it aiding my work there – which at that time was often almost disablingly exhausting. Hrolf came and his stone receives the last drops of every oblation cup, and the exhaustion is no more.
But I can’t say Hrolf is American per se…it does not feel that way.
I love this! And it reminds me of a poem that is on the edge of my memory – the description you give of Him reminded me vividly of it. I’m thinking that the American Gods are some transplants who’ve adopted the people here and some original Beings. Maybe I should edit my post for clarity.
Hrolf does feel like the edge of a memory. He has a tenderness to him, and a sense of acquaintance with war, something regretful and yet resilient.
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And I so wish I could remember the poem I read a few years back, about an old god, comes to the author’s door, bleeds out on the floor?, comes to dinner? Damn!
Doesn’t ring any bells, but hey…I am nigh bell-less this week any way with too much to do and the mists of Samhain coming on.
There’s an area by my house that is in the process of rewilding. It used to be a drive in theater, and they tore up all the paving and are letting it revert to a salt marsh and preserving it as a park. I sense something there, buried and sleepy. I don’t have a name yet, or even much of a personality, but it is very clear to me that it’s a case of an indigenous spirit having gone dormant when we built over the area. I moved to New England from Texas a couple of years ago, and have now moved once within New England, and I’m finding the specificity of the land absolutely fascinating. I’m also finding the relationship building fascinating as a process, since I feel like my relationship with my hometown grew up organically with me, and now I’m trying to build something new from scratch here. The little slice of coastline has a distinctly different spirit than the slice of beach on the Gulf of Mexico I grew up with, and I can’t say whether it came over from elsewhere or was always here, but it is very much itself and I’m looking forward to getting to know it too.
Yes! I feel this so much! Here we have the three rivers (2 make a 3rd) and the point where they intersect if overflowing with the power that lives just beneath/through this area. It has felt like a wanting to emerge in its purest form for a long time. As if it has been almost latent, waiting, for the humans to notice.
There is also a tiny strip of wild land behind our house that is part of our backyard that has a Name. I haven’t asked for it yet, but I am listening if It wishes to offer it up.
There is a Lady of the Shenandoah (River, that is).