Reblog: Interfaith Challenges – “Common Ground” Isn’t

EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

Much of my work is interfaith either deliberately or incidentally. Representing small, mostly-modern, polytheistic, animistic, sex-positive, radically inclusive faith traditions in a context where most folks are at best quietly politically moderate, and almost entirely monotheistic, presents a number of challenges.

You’d think the biggest would be the polytheist vs. monotheist gap, and I suppose it could be if I pushed the polytheism more in those contexts, but mostly I don’t. I’m well aware that it takes more than explanations to get someone’s brain to flip that particular switch, and I don’t see any reason why they should be obliged to understand, as long as they aren’t rude when they don’t. Most aren’t rude – or are least not intentionally.

What I find to be the biggest conflict is actually the constant push to find “Common Ground”. It’s pretty easy for Christians to find common ground amongst themselves, and not…

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Reblog: The crash.

carrying their light

I remember being new to Kemetic Orthodoxy. Everything felt exhilarating. For the first time in my life I had a direct line to communicate with the gods. I felt when They were near me keenly, as vividly as I felt any human presence. I could hear Them speaking when I calmed my body and centered my mind. I was feeling things I’d never felt and experiencing things I’d never experienced. I loved Them deeply, and I was overwhelmed to feel how much They loved me.

Time passed. My relationship with the gods began to normalize. When Wepwawet’s voice spoke through the songs on the radio, I was first thrilled, then touched, and then… mildly bemused. The things that once caused my breath to catch and my spine to tingle were suddenly a part of everyday life with the gods.

And it sucked.

I felt abandoned. The excitement was gone. I…

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Reblog: Reconstructionism – The Pagan Experience

Wildwood and Wild Hunt

It will likely not surprise anybody to learn that I am not a reconstructionist. This is partly due to the fact that the gods I worship (Cernunnos, and Anglo Saxon deities) don’t have a lot written about them. We don’t actually know very much – and when it comes down to it, I trust my own experiences of Cernunnos far more than I trust scholarly speculation. The speculation is interesting, and it often coincides well with my experiences, but it is not something upon which a relationship can be built.

This page, for example, is very interesting. It contains information about some of the artefacts through which He has come to the present age. It doesn’t tell me whether He laughs, whether His worshipers would have approached Him with fear or delight or both. It doesn’t tell me when His holy days are, or how He might like to…

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Reblog: Encountering Outside Powers

EmberVoices: Listening for the Vanir

I had a great conversation recently with a former student of mine. We were talking about the challenges of balancing human ethics with spirit etiquette. How do we avoid cultural appropriation when a Power from a culture to which we have no other connection decides to drop in and say “Hi” for whatever reason?

Novice spirit workers who have only public blogs from other spirit workers, devotional polytheists, and reconstructionist pagans to work from can come away with an impression that it’s just not supposed to happen in the first place. As if we’re each only ever talking to the specific Powers we have some kind of cultural permission to serve, and that anything else is Against The Rules somehow, and you can either accept those rules or reject them outright and face dire consequences. But in my experience both in private conversations with other spirit workers, and in my…

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Reblog: “Karma” by B. T. Newberg

Humanistic Paganism

There is only one stream of karma: cause and effect.

There is only one stream of karma: that of the entire ecosystem.

There is no individual karma, all is inextricably bound together.

There is no individual karma, all return to the earth equally at death.

The good receive their just reward: rejoining nature, freed of ego.

The bad receive their just punishment: annihilated into nature, freed of ego.

Rejoining the original influence, the good are physically recycled for the nutriment of all.

Expunged of ill influence, the bad are physically recycled for the nutriment of all.

Those who wish worse for the bad misperceive their place in the ecosystem.

Those who wish better for the good misperceive their place in the ecosystem.

They think individually, but they are not individuals.

They think individually, but they are the one earth.

There is only one stream of karma: cause and effect.

There…

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Reblog: Loitering at the Gates of Paradise

GODS & RADICALS

By Linda Boeckhout

What exactly do we want from the animals and the plants? At first sight, it seems we have tried very hard to distance ourselves from the natural world we were once a part of. We wear elaborate, impractical clothes. We make sure our houses have comfortable savannah microclimates. We cook and process our food, undoing it of its natural flavours. Our bodily functions are usually locked out of our social discourse or distorted, buried in conventions and assumptions. Yet, at the same time, we cannot seem to leave the animals and the plants alone. Throughout the year man hunts, without being hungry. We have bred a whole class of domesticated animals that are exempt from having any function at all. We treat them as children, albeit disposable ones when we have no longer any need for them. We prefer to wear the skins that belonged to others…

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Reblog: Loki and Women

Weaving the Net

This post is based on and inspired by Sati’s wonderful post about Seth and Women (in German).

Loki, the “Unmanly” Man

If you worship Loki — especially if you’re female while doing so — you’ll quickly be finding yourself battling prejudice based on the clichéd immature, hormone-driven teenager; or alternatively, the clichéd oversexed while underfucked aging single woman. According to cliché, you only have the hots for a particular part of Loki’s — the part that you usually find roughly in the middle of the male body, to be precise. If you stop to think about it, however, this is rather odd: in fact as far as we know from extant sources, Loki and His sexuality are not as clear-cut for Him to easily lend themselves interpretation as a sex symbol.

Imagine a time and culture where ergi — that is, the accusation of unmanliness and cowardice, that is always…

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