When I started this process, I was actually eager to leap ahead to “decluttering the gods,” even before I finished the earlier steps I outlined for myself. I was convinced that giving myself some kind of clean (or almost-clean, anyway) slate was the way to solve my anxiety.
Since then, I’ve come around to the idea that what I really need to tidy up my expectations for myself. Rather than getting hung up on whether I have enough or do enough for any individual god, maybe I should focus my effort on creating a sustainable spriritwork practice that’s not dependant on adding more and more work or complexity to my system.
There’s always going to be another spirit. Since I’ve been diving back into Jason Miller’s Strategic Sorcery, I’ve recommitted myself to active magical work, and that requires working with a variety of spirits depending on the project and my goals. More than that, months ago I read about the idea of a personal spirit retinue, a kind of divination exercise that allows you to find out the spirits who are already interested in and interacting with you in your life. I haven’t pursued having someone else perform this divination for me, but I have been paying attention as much as I can and asking those interested in me to make themselves known. Being open to a project like this is basically the opposite of reducing the number of spirits and powers in my life.
Rather than fight it, though, I’m looking to switch from individual offerings to more generalized offerings aside from when I’m actively working on things that would result in specific offerings. Taking a bit of inspiration from this post, I’ve been experimenting for a few weeks now with offerings for “those who watch over or take interest in me or my family”. I’ve been asking them to let me know who they are when they want to step up; I’ve had some dreams pushing individuals to the forefront and I’m trying to encourage them to let me know what I should be doing. (I can’t do a practice exactly like the wet egg in the link, if for no other reason than my area has a truly amazing ant problem if I so much as leave a few crumbs out too long.) One dream pushed me to reach out to the spirit I tag 1934 Indian, after the motorcycle I see him on. Another dream reminded me of a spirit who shows as much interest in my attempts at cooking as at sorcery.
There’s still Mara, as ever, and in fact I’ve gotten suggestions to shake up the way I worship her again. There’s Hekate, and Odin and Loki, Persephone and Hades, Ganesha, Guan Yin and Guan Yu, my ancestor work and local land and city spirits and others who simply don’t have names. But the difference is that for once I don’t feel overwhelmed.
To put it in KonMari terminology: they all bring me joy. What didn’t bring joy was my expectations of how “offerings” are supposed to happen, so my attitude is what needs to be fixed up. Now I keep going, and I keep refining, until I find a practice that works in the long haul.