Once again it seemed I had lost contact with my spiritual side, mainly because of the upcoming holidays, college and worries over money. What I can never make myself understand is that if I pray for money, or prosperity, well, it's come to me every time in one way or another. So why don't I pray more? Who knows.
When I say 'pray', it's more like a conversation than a formal prayer. I see all the deities I contact as friends (though 'in high places', so to speak). Of course they often remind me that they can sometimes be as mundane as us, they live here, but as just a different 'type' of spirit from us.
Recently, Shinto has recently gripped me again. I wonder why I keep getting drawn back to this path. First I started running into references and art of youkai and kitsune, then I keep seeing foxes everywhere (which I tend to associate with Inari), and finally, I get a book 'The Fox and the Jewel', which I've been after forever, for Christmas. Finally I decided that Inari needs a seperate shrine in my room, and so s/he (I'll probably tend to refer to Inari as she) now has a make-shift shrine against the back wall of my room (I'm not sure which direction, I think North/North-East). Ever since I put that shrine there I've been feeling much more focused and at peace, and I hope to use it every morning for daily prayers and affirmations. My offerings will usually be incense, but sometimes flowers and fruit.
I don't fully understand Inari and her rich mythology, and her countless forms and meanings but I know what she means to me, my own personal meanings. I feel so drawn to Inari worship, and everything around Japanese folklore and Shinto makes me feel so at peace and comfortable it's like I could go inside my meditations and stay there forever. My sacred space in my meditations is also a small Inari shrine. I'd like to find out if I have some kind of past life connection to Ancient Japan, or if it's just a passion.
At the altar I did a small meditation in which Inari appeared as an old man to me. He led me inside and gave me some green tea in a small cup. There was a black board and he wrote a word on it which definatly began with 'T', but I can't remember what it was as my mind started to analyze it (Toulouse, Tous, Toose, Tuomous). He found this amusing and said I'll know when I find it. I've had various totems and deities show me words like this before, and usually I've realized their meanings, so I'll be looking out for this one.
Some photos of my small Inari shrine can be found here - http://wingedwolf666.livejournal.com/47117.html
I need to use this journal more, even if just for myself.