From one to three

For the past decade, my religious life has been largely focused on Ingvi-Freyr. He’s been one of the few, if not the only constant element in my spiritual journey, first as a wiccan, then a druid, a heathen, and finally a cultor deorum. He’s also been a huge source of strength, inspiration, and learning, a true friend and Lord, to the effect that I owe Him part of who I am today (as already mentioned here). For that, I am grateful and pay Him homage daily, make Him part of my life and try to be one of His men, even if not formally dedicated to Him and while not worshiping Him exclusively. And definitely not now, when there’s a new kid on the block who has made Himself at home.

The last month and a half has been marked by the coming and settling of Mercury in my most personal religious life. There was this brief moment of curiosity from my part, after a comment on Hermes by a friend of mine, after which He came in like a sudden gush of wind, pulled a chair, and quickly made Himself known. I became aware of how much interests we share: writing, hermeneutics, communication (in my case, in a teaching/academic context), languages, travelling, and sports; I have two dogs me and my parents picked up from the street and He has a connection with both dogs and strayed people or animals; there’s also sex and humour, even if sometimes He’s a particular kind of comedian very much in tune with Monty Python’s Always look in the bright side of life, and then there’s my habit of touring friends and lost tourists around Lisbon or my home town. So I decided to give it a try and bought a caduceus pendant online, which arrived on the same week I found a 5 Euros bill on the floor, used it to buy a lottery ticket and got 25 Euros out of it. Thank you, Mercury! I replied by wearing my caduceus for the first time during Lisbon’s half-marathon and I’ll be taking part in another athletic event on June 5th, dedicating my physical effort and a prize to Him.

This is having an effect on my religious life. There are many gods I worship on a daily basis, even if just with a simple offering of a kiss on the tip of my fingers and touch on Their altars, and even most of Them receive monthly offerings (in some cases several times a month) and have at least one major yearly festival on my calendar. And there are those Who, while not getting as much attention (and They seem to be fine with that), are nonetheless dear to me and I would not part from Them. But at the top of the scale, Freyr has ruled supreme for the past several years, like something similar to having a husband at the centre of a life full of dear friends and relatives. This is changing, however, not in the sense that Freyr is coming down the scale, but that the top of it will have Mercury as a second occupant. There may even be a personal triad in the making, with Minerva as a likely third element, but She’s been quiet.

The hardest thing may be to reshape my devotional practices. A change in focus from one to two or three gods means there’s a new balance to be found and that implies learning the dos and donts, likes and dislikes, and make sure no one feels cast aside.

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7 thoughts on “From one to three

  1. I believe some people even argue Freyr-Ingvi and Mercurius/Hermēs to be the same deity and that he could be syncretised.

    I also wonder, do you, as a cultor deorum, worship Freyr-Ingvi in a Roman, Roman-Germanic syncretic, or purely Germanic way?

    • You know, I have been thinking about how much common ground They have 😉

      They’re both phallic gods, They have a link with cattle, and then there’s Freyr’s role as God of Frith, which is usually translated as peace and was a sine qua non for assemblies and markets in ancient Scandinavia: business, be it legal or monetary, was conducted under rules of non-aggression and penalties for frith-breakers. Messengers too needed to be immune to violence in order to move to and from conflicting sides, so there are things in Mercury’s domain that Freyr can relate to (or vice-versa). However, I wouldn’t say They’re the same gods (for one, Ingvi’s definitely not a trickster), but there is common ground.

      And I worship Freyr in a Germanic way, although I have to admit that there’s some level of growing Roman influence: salutations in the form of an adoratio for instance, or ritual formulas like “with good prayers and good heart”. Actually, the same way Hermes was imported to become Mercury (at least, from what I know), I have considered doing the same with Freyr, whose Latinized name could be something like Dominus Ingus or just Ingus (but not Monty Python’s Biggus Dickus :p). Not sure about doing that, though.

  2. I myself am also weary of syncretisms, be they ancient or be they modern. I also look at the facts for myself an decide whether or not I can accept a given syncretism or not. One of the only ancient syncretisms to which I payed any extensive thought is the the identification of the Egyptian God Osiris with the Hellenic Dionysos. Both Gods died and came back to life (Dionysos even twice according to some myths), they both spread culture in the world while travelling it, they both had cults connected to achieving a deep and profound connection with the deity, to help in going to a good afterlife. But mostly I’m critical of syncretisms.

    Wouldn’t Freyr translate more like Dominus (Lord) rather than Domus (House)? And perhaps his other name, Ingvi would be rendered Inguus (pronounced something like ing-WOOS)? That could be a good rendering for the -v- in his Germanic name.

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