Broceanic Honoring

Alright, so Poseidon has a particular Face that comes and goes (Brocean) and wants to be acknowledged about once a month (Monthly Brocean). What exactly can I do for Him when He’s in such a particular upg, not quite traditional guise? I try to keep the following in mind (Brocean & Night-Blooming Cereus):

I am the ocean and the gentle lap of the waves against the sand. I am the give and take of the tide, knowing when to compromise and when to hold firm. I move around rather than trying to force my way through. I don’t have to be immovable, stoic, and emotionless. I feel, express emotions, am gentle. The ocean isn’t always calm, but that doesn’t mean I can only feel anger or a particular slice of the actual emotional spectrum. I can be the cool water and the warm sun.

A bit ironically, my Sleipnir tag also applies to this post because there’s an element of shadow work to acknowledging emotions and working on emotional expression. The fact that an emotion is there doesn’t automatically mean it’s bad or you’re a bad person. It’s like having a ‘check ___’ light come on in a car, which can be helpful to make sure you’re still in driving condition, and it’s trying to continue to drive while ignoring that light (and the possible outcome of running out of whatever) that backfires. (Source for the analogy.)

Ignoring an emotion, bottling it all away,  or trying to only limit yourself to certain emotions isn’t healthy. It’s not healthy to try to swallow down all of your anger, sadness, and emotions that don’t fit the “light, love, positivity” group, but it’s also not healthy to only let yourself feel anger, sadness, etc. I say this as someone who’s had apathy and depression smother my emotional range into numbness, who’s had certain emotions break through the apathy a little too intensely, who may or may not be battling compassion fatigue, and who has had to prod at how socialization affects emotional expression. (Just quick examples: Don’t get angry, cry, or talk back, or it’ll just be “that time of the month”. Don’t cry; “man up”.)

I’m certainly not a poster child for healthy and safe emotional expression, and I still have to work on coping mechanisms that aren’t self-injurious, but that’s not the end of the world. There are certainly other humans in very similar boats. My freeform writing about water and emotions (above) focuses on gentleness because that’s the direction I currently need. I’d also guess that I don’t currently need this lesson from a Goddess because water and emotions are not inherently feminine, but it may just be that I already had an existing connection to Njord (hence this Face of Poseidon).

In the Norse pantheon, there’s Ran and Her nine daughters with Aegir in terms of Oceanic Goddesses, but I’ve never been cleared for interaction with any of Them because They come across as “remember I am Wild and can kill you” and I already learned the lesson of how dangerous water can be when I almost drowned as a kid. This doesn’t mean someone else might not get a tough love approach from one of Them, but this is an area where I don’t see myself doing well with that. Some people get thrown into the deep end of the pool and figure out how to swim, and other people go through the same experience and drown.

I don’t need the wild and stormy tempest to learn how to feel my anger. I don’t need rough handling and sharp edges because I can accomplish that on my own. I’ve punished myself in order to feel and tried to hurt myself into not-feeling what I was feeling, and the idea of gentleness towards my body and emotions (self-care) is the scarier option. The only way some of this emotional expression works is that I let myself do something that will not be seen by anyone else to reduce self-censorship (not even here), but I can share a tactic that works for me (no guarantee it’ll work for anyone else).

Because I’m a bottler and I have a history of not letting myself cry (stys suck), I sometimes need to go out of my way to get the tears flowing because it’s literally unhealthy on a physical level to never cry, not to mention the emotional regulation from hormones, neurochemicals, and all that. I’m not sure if it’s generational, a by-product of growing up with Fandom and self-identifying with certain characters, or simply a ‘safe’ fictional space, but I think through Angst plots for fanfiction or original fiction in order to help myself cry. I know, #emo. I don’t really write these AUs or outright new plots down compared to other plots because it’s not about being in Writer Mode, it’s just about relaxing into the emotional waves and not fighting the tears.

Brocean & Night-Blooming Cereus

In mid-February of 2017, I sent an ask to Gef on tumblr for a FotN oracle reading, even though I do have the deck. (Sometimes, it’s interesting to see how other people will interpret a reading.) I got:

Night-Blooming Cereus (Understanding). A new perspective might be needed. Keep focused, avoid giving away your power. A question you may wish to ponder: What is going on right now that may help or hinder my path?

By my own divination, I was able to figure out that it was about this Njord / Poseidon ship I refer to as “brocean”. I had to process a certain amount of gentleness and emotional connection within this ship because two ‘men’ in a ship can still be gentle and emotional (I have mlm human ships to go off, but Deities technically don’t fit in human gender terms). I need to keep focused on the inevitable process of embodying my People instead of giving too much power to recon or revival polytheism / paganism (certain specifics of blending traditions aren’t relevant to me).

I am the ocean and the gentle lap of the waves against the sand. I am the give and take of the tide, knowing when to compromise and when to hold firm. I move around rather than trying to force my way through. I don’t have to be immovable, stoic, and emotionless. I feel, express emotions, am gentle. The ocean isn’t always calm, but that doesn’t mean I can only feel anger or a particular slice of the actual emotional spectrum. I can be the cool water and the warm sun.

Hindrances. Well, I didn’t exactly internalize problematic socialization from nowhere, so I need to uninstall and fix how I view and react to others and myself. Depending on the exact issue, it’s sometimes easier to change how I relate to others than how I relate to myself and vice versa. I may not want to feel certain emotions because it’s uncomfortable af, and I may disguise certain emotions because of reactions from others (their socialization or “Society”), for example. It’s almost a matter of creating myself as my own role model in some areas, since I’m not aware of major existing representation to look to.

A few days later, after opening my own deck (includes a guidebook), I added to my notes that while “sensual aspects of ships are highlighted” I shouldn’t “lose my purpose”, or in less direct quotes, a queer relationship — a queer identity — is more than the physical, sexual activity that may or may not happen. I don’t have to publicly share my personal point on the allosexual – asexual spectrum [irl] because my “sexual orientation” is more than answering who’d I fuck.

The guidebook also mentions that ‘sensitivities may be heightened’, so grounding may be beneficial. At the time, Nidhogg was more the one for grounding info, but brocean would like to obviously point out the benefits of grounding in fluidity (water). Also – controlled breathing; awareness of blood flow / heartbeat; and listening to a heartbeat, someone breathing, or something rhythmic (not limited to the ocean).

Monthly Brocean

In “Brocean”, I introduced a Face of Poseidon, but I wasn’t really sure about how to go about acknowledging Him after He showed up, so I went poking around a blog, Baring the Aegis, that I found helpful back before this blog existed when Hestia was around.

I wound up with three days of importance: 1) one of the days with Poseidon’s name attached to it in the Hellenic month, day 8 after the Noumenia (dark moon + 7 = basically the 1st Qtr), 2) the end of the month (Deipnon), and 3) the beginning of the month (Noumenia). It’s not a straight forward Hellenic practice because I didn’t have to acknowledge Agathos Daimon or any yearly holy days for Anyone. This falls a bit too close to the minimum for Hellenics, which winds up pulling in general acknowledgement of the Hellenic pantheon, and I wasn’t cleared for that category of Hellenic interaction.

This means that the Deipnon wasn’t actually observed with sacrifices or offerings to Hekate, but more along the lines of being an ideal time for cleaning and cleansing the home, any physical shrine spaces, and renewing wards. For someone with an online shrine space more so than physical ones, it’s also an ideal time for blog maintenance and cleaning e-shrines. Rather than giving offerings to several Theoi, the Noumenia was more just the start of the Hellenic month (important for orientation when counting the days to Poseidon’s day).

Now (almost 2 years later), it can be helpful to have the 1st Qtr as a monthly baseline for remembering and acknowledging Poseidon, but I don’t have to limit myself to only doing activities or emotional work on that day. (The process of acknowledging my emotions when they’re happening means I have to roll with when they come up (and they don’t exactly schedule that).) I’m also allowed to still have designated cleansing and physical cleaning days during the month. Using the Hellenic timing of Deipnon and Noumenia might be helpful, but I don’t have to get caught up in doing those specific rituals.

Brocean

Back in Feb 2017, I found myself in upg waters that I was very sure would be shredded for the historical inaccuracy and Weirdness of it if I were to share it publicly. Yes, I’ve shared some out there upg before and admitted when it was no longer relevant, but some people get a bit touchy and protective of Deities. Not to mention the Hellenic bit and accusations of hubris, and it was less risky to wait and see if this was another case of miscommunication before sharing anything.

From my notes:

Njord / Poseidon. From what I can tell, there was some sort of inter-pantheon Agreement […]. I think it might be a case of conflicting truths from more than one version of events simultaneously happening, so I’m not quite sure about the why or how it benefits both pantheons.

Like I said, I am very aware that this is not exactly typical upg. I can’t really point to any historical, lore, or cultural overlap justification, and I am not saying that these Faces are somehow better than more traditional and well-known Faces. This isn’t erasing or writing over Their respective mythologies about spouses, consorts, lovers, and the like. Quite frankly, I don’t expect this to really catch on or be seen by anyone other the handful of blog readers here.

I expect there will be people who don’t agree with this on the basis of inter-pantheon relationships, the fandom like quality of ‘shipping’ Deities, and the projection of human gender and sexuality on Deities. You know, those are fair points and there’s nothing wrong with questioning this. Personally, it turned out to be a way of interacting with Poseidon outside of Hellenismos without outright doing a Norse-Hellenic mashup.