Editress Ginger Strivelli Nothing much to report this month, There were no APA gatherings and the yahoo list is a bit quite with the debate fodder election behind us, the Samhain events behind us, and Yuletide not quite upon us yet. FROM OUR BOOK OF SHADOWS: Connecting with the Gods: I usually suggest my formal training students...as I did 20-some years ago in my formal training...pick a triad of Gods and a triad of Goddesses to work with as a Sworn priestess of Them. Not that all other Gods are not prayed to or worked with in rite and spell and charm, but these are ones you are to personally connect with, form relationships with bond with personally. That 'bonding' can be done in various ways...here are some ideas of how to connect, bond, work with your Gods (and others, remember you can and should work with many Gods and Goddesses, as your needs dictate.) 1) collect images of your Gods or their Symbols; i.e. artwork, pins, earrings, statues for your altars, clothing even... anything really....For example Spider Grandmother, the Cherokee Goddess is one of my patron Goddesses and I collect Spiderweb art, Spider jewelry, I have a spiderweb sweater, skirts, lol. Some Gods lend Themselves to this easier than others. My Holly King is an easy one for this idea particularly this item of year...I have lot of Santa Claus Jewelry, sweaters skirts, artwork...Myles Pinkney is a fav artist of mine who has some great Santa works... I have a beautiful Santa in His Sleigh Pinkney work. I leave up year round. 2) Start praying daily to your patron Gods...just a few words in times of need. Like when a car pulls out in front of you you might pray; 'thanks Vishnu for protecting me just then.' Also longer more formal prayers and chants as well. Write things yourself, look up prayers to Them from ancient writings of others....or use just off the cuff prayers. You could ask Them for things you need or others need throughout the day. (i.e. 'Gaia help that homeless woman that I see on the road there find her way to a warm place to sleep tonight.' Said as you walk by. Or when seeing some news report of some terirble crime you might ask Ares to insure justice is served upon the victim's attackers. You can also do actual candle blessing spells invoking one of your Gods. Keep in mind if your need is exact say you cat is lost, feel free to Invoke Bast, even if She is not one of your personal Gods in that spell rather than one of your patron Gods...our Gods are not jealous and have no 'worship no god before me' greedy needy rule, LOL. 3) Make offerings to your Gods often each moon cycle at least...a good offering dish on your Altar is a must. A good offering depends on the God. The right offering may be flowers, juice, water, milk, gold, incense, a crystal or such. You can also offer a poem, or artwork you've made in Their honor...or a pinch of your bread or cake is a very traditional Appalachian offering. In fact a common tradition is to ALWAYS offer such a pinch of any baked food thrown outside to the 'wee folk' or as the Cherokee call them them "Yundi Tsundi." For example, a good offering for Kanati-the happy hunter may be to explore your totem animal, or do a 'hunt' of your own, that could be a symbolic hunt for a 'fox' artwork, or statue for your altar rather than to actually chase down a fox with a bow and arrow. 5) Some other ideas, are to look up Their feast days, or other holy days and plan to celebrate those. Learn up Their legends and stories, meditate upon them, learn all you can about those 6 Gods....be able to teach others about Them.