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Working with Great Good Fortune

Some Ideas for Inviting the Goddess

1. Explicitly invite Her. Talk to Her--literally or gesturally. Be open to responses. She may speak audibly or present Herself. More usually, She will speak through signs . The more you are open to Her and the more you "study" Her, the more you'll be able to recognize Her signatures. She often speaks in stunningly complex ways that defy simplistic "coincidence" dismissals. She is more likely to talk to you if you talk to Her.

2. Keep an altar to Her; give Her space and symbols to work with. Respect Her space. I believe that one of the most important things we can do to heal the earth and create a true culture of life is to create sacred spaces dedicated to the polyform spiritual powers of Paganism. An altar is more than an invitation or expression of thanks, more than a symbolic assemblage, more than a devotional reminder. A true altar is a portal between the worlds. Pagan altars are doorways for powerful spiritual energies to enter human consciousness and human cultures. Every well-maintained altar is a fortress of ever-increasing spiritual power. The altar will grow in power if you maintain a minimum regular schedule around it--it can be as simple as a quick prayer in the morning and incense at night, but regularity seems to "feed" and augment the power of devotional spaces. Here are some of my Fortuna altars.

2. Glorify Her with your words, creativity and lifestyle. (But do this authentically and don't go overboard; pushiness is not glorifying. Others are not obliged to understand or respect your religious experience, but you are also not obliged to confine them to a closet. It is important to bear witness to the spiritual reality you experience, and doing so honors the Goddess in all the worlds and changes them all. There is a balance to learn, however, between personal duty and societal tolerance, and by learning to strike this balance we work positively with Fortuna's attendant, Necessity).

3. Practice Gratitude and Thankfulness. It can be difficult to do this authentically in all aspects of our lives. Find the places in your life where you can be authentically grateful and begin to work from there. What does gratitude feel like? What conditions give rise to it? (Gratitude does not require submission to unjust conditions--we are not meant to be thankful for all things and have a moral obligation to work against economic and social injustice, for the knowledge of Fortuna's wheel teaches us that we trade places and do not know what outer station we will next inhabit. Working to build a better world in parternship with Pagan Spirit Powers transforms the repeating Wheel into the ascending Helix of the Cornucopia, taking us through the most abundant path to our point of sacred origin in Her).

4. Contemplate various visual and literary representations of Isis, Fortuna and Isis-Fortuna. How are they similar? How are they different? How does each one speak to you? Are you attracted to some and not to others? Why? How do Her various symbols and attributes work together to create a more rounded portrait of who She is? If all the different representations are sacred records of the impressions She left on cultures and individual artisans, can you intuit greater truths indicated by them all together than in any specific one?

Here are some suggestions:

a. contemplate the aspects and allomorphs of Fortune (many listed here)

b. artwork (do a Google image search, for example)

c. comparative Tarot (here's a great site for that)

d. cultural shifts (study the history, culture, archeology of socieites dedicated to Isis, Fortuna and Isis-Fortuna and note how and why they changed. Contemplate the spiritual and energetic dimensions in addition to the material and social ones.


5. Work with money issues. Most of us have deep emotional and spiritual issues with money. This can be a key to personal growth and challenges us to find ways of engaging with the social collective and its economic realities. How do we reconcile ourselves to systems of greed that damage human communities and natural ecosystems? To an emphasis on competition over cooperation? How much are we obliged to help others, and what do we do when others don't follow through on their promises or obligations? Do we oppose them, or find a way out? Is it true that we're all entitled to wealth? Or just enough? Or something in between? Is "enough" achievable for all? What is our duty to the poor? To the rich? If we don't have enough money, what do we do? If we have much more than we need, what do we do? What is it right or wrong to work for or ask for magically or in prayer? Are concepts like "the Law of Attraction" true? How much?

Many people approaching money issues from a Pagan spiritual vantage also find themselves dealing with Ancestor issues, sometimes battling against longstanding attitudes to money or privilege that extend back many generations. Sometimes, these can be as pathological as alcoholism (in contexts of poverty or abundance). There are many ways to work with money issues, but it may be wisest to first clarify what one's deep values are, then work on bringing one's indivudal and collective economic lives into harmony with those values.

6. Tithe. This means to give of your resources--money or time--for a cause you find worthy. Try to do so at a fixed and regular minimum percentage of your income. I suggest 9% as a fitting Goddess number resonant with Isis-Fortuna. The recipient of your donation does not have to be a temple or religious institution, but I believe it is a good practice to consecrate your offering. You can do this alone, before your altar, by saying so aloud before you commence or after you return. You could write it on a piece of paper and put it in your pocket or shoe: "This day's work is a tithe to Fortune". You could make it explicit (I think this is powerful) by making the donation in the name of Goddess Isis-Fortuna, or by explaining so to your managers or coworkers. This bears public witness and is powerful and pleasing to the Gods, and I beleive they reward it. Many ancient artifacts carry inscriptions meant to publicly acknowledge the Gods in gratitude for some favor. Today, we could do this relavtivley anonymously in newspaper classifieds or other public forums, in addition to writing it on memo lines in checks, in naming bequests, etc. This is one way of rendering Pagan devotion more visible and thereby contributing to broader cultural change.

7. Generate Fortuna-related themes to contemplate: thankfulness, gratitude, chance, fate, destiny, station in life, evolution and involution, simplicity, balance, right abundance.

8. Keep a journal of your unfolding relationship with Her. This will deepen your appreciation of the wonderful synchronicities She manifests and will take you deeper into Her symbols. If She appears in your dreams, a Fortuna Journal will also be a place to explore the relationships between your waking and sleeping lives with Her.

9. Repeat Her beautiful names. "Dea Isis Fortuna" is a beautiful mantra in itself. She may show you or give you another. Compose a litany of the Names of Her Aspects or in praise of Her attributes. Writing the names over and over is a sacred practice that creates magical artifacts of great power. Chanting with a set of beads is another way to "store" the energy of the act in the beads themselves, which can then be carried with one, used in healing or cleansing or dedicatory work, or kept in a vessel on the altar, perhaps surrounded by written prayer concerns.