My thoughts on the political state of things below this.
Just wanted to post a quick update about how my “About” page has changed. It changed in one major way: I no longer call myself a Bandraoi or a Banfhaidh. And I figured I’d muse why that is.
A few days ago, I asked several groups on Facebook and Tumblr what they thought of when thinking of “Warrior’s Path.” I got a lot of responses, which I wasn’t expecting! I thought I was out-of-the-know for not having a definite idea of what a “Warrior’s Path” looked like, but it seems that the confusion is rather because so many people have so many different opinions coming from a variety of reasonings.
I figured that, having asked for all these opinions, I should weigh in myself finally. Though I don’t have one universal opinion. Instead, I see it as being relative. Continue reading
I had the great privilege to attend “Omaha Table Talk: The Heartland Interfaith Dialogue” hosted by Inclusive Communities. While polytheism in any form wasn’t at all discussed (until I brought it up in my table), it was a great effort to bring discussion around religion and religious identities. The panel we got to listen to prior to the table discussions contained a Jewish person, a Lutheran Christian person, and a Muslim student. It gave me a great deal to think about, and I am glad I attended.
But what I am writing about isn’t necessarily about the entire event, but more about what a person at my table brought up right when we were ending the talk. I didn’t get a chance to respond to them, but what they said needs a response. And since I’ve heard this type of thinking before, it definitely needs to be said publicly.
This person ended the talk by saying: “It doesn’t matter to me what your religion is! Only that you’re a respectful person!” …says the Roman-Catholic attendee.
Let me explain why I find this offensive… Continue reading
I thought I wrote how I did an ancestor elevation back in the fall when I did one. I guess not? Oh well. Here’s what I did. Continue reading
We moved to our new apartment the last weekend of August. Since then, my shrine has been packed up–awaiting a new piece of furniture to house it. I lucked out and found the above pictured furniture on Craigslist for real cheap, so with my last paycheck, I bought it.
It feels so good to have a shrine again.
Going without one for so long, I really appreciate how important it is to me to have a space for prayer, meditation, and just relaxing. It really gives me a sense of focus, dedication, and strength.
This entire blog post is in rebuttal to John Beckett’s “The Future of Polytheism: Keeping the Gods at the Front“, and more importantly, the central theme that Polytheism is all about worshiping gods. I said before how this isn’t so, and leads to elitism. But with bloggers still stating that the baseline for Polytheism is that Gods come first…I guess I’ll address it directly, head-on.
There are other issues in this article, such as the idea that Polytheism has a set of virtues and ideals (which isn’t true. My values as a Gaelic polytheist aren’t the same as the values of a Kemetic polytheist.) But that’s another article.
For this, I’ll put forth that the future of Polytheism needs to focus on the needs of polytheists–not the need or worship of the gods. First I’ll deconstruct John Beckett’s article, then I’ll assert my position that Polytheists need to be the forefront of polytheism.
(Alternate Titles: “What is a Name?“ and “Names are Important”)
“In real life, unlike in Shakespeare, the sweetness of the rose depends upon the name it bears. Things are not only what they are. They are, in very important respects, what they seem to be.”
– Hubert H. Humphrey
I don’t know what to call myself anymore.
I have been thinking about the power of names for almost a decade now, but never more intensely than in the past couple weeks. Lo writing about names made me realize that I could verbalize my conflictions. Maybe someone can give me advice?
Alternative Title: You Are Enough
It’s so awesome that polytheism is making itself into its own diverse community. With things like Many Gods West happening, I have bright hopes that in the future there will be a booming community of polytheists where we can discuss, share ideas, and grow together. This gives me hope for things like my own dream, the Polytheist Community Center. And I’m excited about that. But I am realizing that my position on what it means to be polytheist and what it means to have a polytheist community seem to differ from some other bloggers. So this post is my attempt to define what I want from the polytheist community at large.
And that is one thing: stop the elitism.
To be a polytheist, I believe firmly and unwavering that it requires one thing: the belief in more than one deity. I don’t even think worship is required, contrary to the image I have above. If someone says they are a polytheist, that to me says one thing and one thing only: “I believe in multiple deities.”
What is a deity? Does one actively worship, or passively observe? Does one spend more time reading than practicing, or vice-versa? Do you have a day job? Do you only do religious studies? Which deity is all important? Are you a soft or hard polytheist?
…Those questions? Aren’t answered in the label “polytheist.” Those are answered in discussion and theological inquiry and blog posts and books.
I want the identifier for polytheist to be as uncomplicated as possible. I fear that it’ll slowly morph into how the word “pagan” is treated–where what one means when they call themselves “pagan” is so varied on who is saying it and where. I’ve rejected the label of pagan for various reasons, but one of them is because it doesn’t mean anything concrete. Whereas polytheist? Polytheist means one thing: belief in many deities.
So don’t take this word away from me, Polytheist Bloggers. Don’t take away my term for myself.
Don’t make polytheist to be a title one has to earn through nights and days of study. Don’t make polytheist mean active worship. Don’t make polytheist mean more than it has to. That does us more of a disservice, for we alienate people who are different voices of polytheism when we put up barriers like that. I want to hear about the soft polytheist who only worships on the full moons. I want to hear from the hard recon polytheist who has an entire room dedicated to worship. I want to hear from the plasma polytheists who are trying to make the phrase “plasma polytheist” a recognizable label. I want to hear from the polytheist who doesn’t know what anything I said means but is eager to discuss their devotion. I want to hear from all of the voices in the community. I want to welcome all of them.
So if you believe in multiple deities, congratulations! You are a polytheist. And if anyone gives you trouble, they’ll have to answer to me.