[Day One of Polytheism] Introduction

1. Introduction: Paganism/Polytheism & Your Path – Your story of how you came to your paganistic/polytheistic faith and what your current path is.

I inadvertently answered most of this with my first post

But, I guess I didn’t go into depth about why I am now a Gaelic Polytheist instead of what I was prior: a Eclectic Pagan with a Celtic Focus, or a Celtic Eclectic Pagan.

Firstly, I slowly have begun to understand why the word “eclectic” is a dirty word in some religious circles. To quote the CR FAQ: “Though some self-identified Neopagans are respectful of the cultures they are inspired by, there are, sadly, many other Neopagans who exhibit the worst examples of cultural appropriation and disrespectful eclecticism.” After seeing how some Neopagans who consider themselves eclectic decide that means a “take whatever I want and do whatever I want” approach to spirituality… I kinda wanted to shy away from that. Not that there aren’t eclectic neopagans out there who are respectful (I know one in fact! They exist, I promise you!), but I was hyper worried about it with myself.

Secondly, learning that “Celtic” was an ambiguous word for various European cultures, I began to decide to focus accurately on Gaelic cultures. Simultaneously, I learned that the Gaelic culture still exists today–it isn’t dead! The religion hasn’t been around for quite some time, but the culture persists into modern day.

Thirdly, reading materials by Gaol Naofa, I learned that I agreed with the Gaelic Polytheist Lifeway being a primary focus over just a religion that wasn’t integrated throughout my life. The more I learned about pre-Christian Gaelic polytheism, the more I decided that I could not just be religiously Gaelic Polytheist without incorporating the cultural attitudes too. Things like taking Honor as a virtue, upholding hospitality, and supporting those in my community. (That latter half is going to be inspiration for a whole ‘nother post later…)

Lastly… “Pagan” has a lot of problematic ties to it. I have yet to be part of a self-identified pagan community that did not allow or endorse problems. The best of the communities, so far, has been that of the Tumblr Pagan community, but that’s taking a very “loose” definition of community. I’ll probably go more into my ideas about what paganism is and why I don’t identify with it in the 30 Days of Definitions posts.

To the accumulation of all those different realizations made it so that I realized I want to live a Gaelic Polytheist life. This also lead me to applying for membership in Gaol Naofa, which I was accepted into.

I still have a lot to learn, a lot to adopt to, and a lot to discover. But I’m excited to to be on this path.

 

31 Days of Polytheism Masterlist

This list is made by Ruin! I’ll be slowly working my way through all these topics.

1. Introduction: Paganism/Polytheism & Your Path – Your story of how you came to your paganistic/polytheistic faith and what your current path is.

2. Foundations: Cosmology – How you see the universe and its make-up.
3. Foundations: Nature & Earth – How you view nature and the earth, and your relationship with it.
4. Foundations: Day-to-Day Practice – An explanation of your day-to-day practices, and how you incorporate those practices into daily life.
5. Foundations: Rites of Passage – How you see the “cycles of life,” and how you view reincarnation, death, the afterlife, and milestones.
6. Foundations: Non-Theistic Beliefs – The non-theistic/secular aspects of your faith.
7. Foundations: Tools, Altar/Shrine, & Sacred Space – General beliefs on tools, the altar/shrine, and your sacred space.
8. Foundations: Places of Spiritual Significance – Any locations that you believe to be intrinsically holy.
9. Foundations: Festivals & Calendar – The holidays in your path’s calendar year.

10. Relationships: Gods/Deities/Pantheon – General beliefs on the deity or deities on your path, as well as how you came to the pantheon you now worship.
11. Relationships: Patronage with the Deities – How close you believe your faith can allow you to be with the deity/deities of your path.
12. Relationships: Relationship with a Deity or Deities – Your relationship with a specific deity or deities (can be considered patrons).
13. Relationships: Other Relationships – Your relationship with any beings other then Gods, such as ancestors, spirits of the land, etc.
14. Relationships: Deity Gender Roles – Gender roles as prescribed by the mythology of your path, and your beliefs of their gender roles.
15. Relationships: Ritual, Worship, & Reverence – Your own way or worshiping and revering various deities, etc.
16. Relationships: Priesthood & Clergy – Whether you have priests and clergy in your path, and what would normally entail within your path.

17. Inspirations: Prayer & Reciprocity – Your beliefs on or practice of praying, and the Gods reactions to your prayers.
18. Inspirations: Meditation – Your meditation practices.
29. Inspirations: Ethics, Virtues, & Values – Both your own ethics and values, along with the ethics and values of your path.
20. Inspirations: Divination and/or Magic – Your divination practices, and your view on magic according to your path, as well as the various magical practices of your faith.
21. Inspirations: Mysticism and Philosophy – Beliefs in truths that are believed to be intuitive or above normal understanding, as well as beliefs that are rooted in rational investigation and knowledge and how they work together. (transcendental/intuitive vs scientific/historic/practical)
22. Inspirations: Music, Poetry, Storytelling, Myth, & Aesthetics – What do you include in a ritual, and the aesthetics of ritual and/or magic.

23. Experiences: Faith & Times of Need – An experience you had that you would not likely have come through without your faith.
24. Experiences: Ritual and/or Magic – Your personal experiences with magic and/or rituals.
25. Experiences: Other Explorations – Your experience with other paths and faiths, as well as beliefs you may incorporate into your practice from them.

26. Everyday Life: Paganism/Polytheism & Family Life/Friends – How your conversion has affected your various relationships with your friends and family.
27. Everyday Life: Paganism/Polytheism & Romance – How your conversion has affected your love life.
28. Everyday Life: Paganism/Polytheism & Work/Career – How your conversion has affected your work/career.
29. Everyday Life: Paganism/Polytheism & Community – You, your community, and your ties with other practitioners of your faith.

30. Conclusion: Misconceptions – Clear up a misconception or more that you believe that most people nowadays have about your path/faith/religion.
31. Conclusion: Advice to the Seeker – Any advice you have to give to others who are seeking a paganistic/polytheistic path.