Exploring a Hearth Culture

As explained in my “about” page concerning this dedicant’s journal, I technically pull from many different hearth cultures. My patron, Athena, a Greek Goddess of war and wisdom. My Grove, CedarLight, mainly Celtic, with some dabblings in Norse. My other patron (I’m not worried about being politically correct here), I’ve been exploring Odin, also a God of War in the Nordic culture. And then there’s the lifestyle and purpose in which I choose to serve, which is strongly Native American. When it came time to write an essay about one ore two of these, it was a bit of a task choosing which one.

When I had originally written this essay, I did so for the Native American culture. It meant a lot to me to do so because of my strong Cherokee heritage, but was unacceptable for the purpose of the Dedicant’s Program because it was not indo-european. So I was forced to choose a separate culture for this purpose, but I accept any challenge, and was glad to do so.

The requirements say that need to give a brief account on my efforts to develop and explore a spiritual practice, drawn from a culture or combination of cultures.

Despite not being Hellenic, my next strongest spiritual affiliation is with Athena. I’ve been to a Hellenic ritual or two, but must say they aren’t my style. To me they are very dry, with little room for the “back to the earth” type of spirituality that seems to embrace me so.

Since I am not well-versed in the Hellenic tradition, and am honestly not that interested in it, I will speak on my relationship with Athena and its history and how it reflects in my day to day life.

When I was 12 years old, which to note is the age I stopped going to my Baptist church, I was in a class that was studying Mythology. We were reading all of the old Greek myths, which are some of my favorite stories. One of our class projects was to take the essence of one of the Greek Gods, but which Greek God you represented was chosen by your classmates, based on what type of personality you had. I was chosen as Athena, thus my journey started.

Since then she’s been fairly adamant in my life, and is always there in the foundation of everything that I do. My thought process, my pioneering will, even anger have all been influenced by her in some way.

August of 2006 I had a rather large omen from Athena, when a Great Horned Owl was brought into my life. It had been coming after our chickens and killed off many of our guinea fowl. Eventually it got itself caught up in one of our cages and my father and I caught it. I was able to take some pictures of this incredible omen, and just being able to be face to face with such an amazing beast was very spiritual for me.

What amuses me the most is my totem has always been the red-tailed hawk, which in the mundane world, is the polar opposite of the Great Horned Owl. They share the same territory, but where one is a day feeder, the other is night. The Great Horned Owl will even take over the nest of the Red-Tailed Hawk.

So I remember my place, and now realize that both have spiritual significance with me.

Having both spirit animals and guides in my life create a significant balance for me spiritually. The Red-Tailed Hawk is my totem, and my sun sign in the Native Americn zodiac, just as the Great Horned Owl is a symbol of my patron, Athena.

Athena is not just another War Goddess, and even as a War Goddess she represents more of strategic involvement. Her influence in my life has been one of strength and strategy. She’s also said to have given the world math and numbers, which was a big influence on my ability to reach the point I have with my finances. Even my Grovemates come to me for financial discussion and advice, and I’ve received letters from my online journal giving thanks for inspiring them to take hold of their financial future. It may seem like such a minute thing, but inspiring people to better themselves in the mundane world financially is a path that I seem to have been given.

I’ve reworked a small invocation to Athena to be used when we have our monthly Grove meetings, as some of them can be fairly negative and Athena is often a Goddess of Justice:
Blessed Athena. Give us the wisdom to listen to and hear other’s opinions. Help us find the common ground so that all may be free of dispute.

Justice and Fairness are a large part of my warrior path, even though I am not particularly involved in the Warrior’s Guild. I think both are potent parts of my spiritual journey as a Warrior.

(Word Count: 830)

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