Contemplation: July Apotheosis
I pour coffee into each offering tray before the sun rises. Later in the day, I sprinkle tobacco and a rose-herb mix into the smallest bowl, breaking cigarettes into the other. Everything smells vaguely of coffee and sweet oils. A broken egg sits in the middle offering dish, and the incense from earlier has burned all the way down.
Honoring the deification of the Dierne has been quiet. It was no…
"Hello, July. Hello, Hell Month.”
ed sheeran ♠ i see fire (kygo remix) | lana del rey ♠ summertime sadness (cedric gervais remix) | kagamine len & rin ♠ sincerity gender | onerepublic ♠ counting stars (lonczinski remix) | ia ♠ outer science | lana del rey ♠ young and beautiful (cedric gervais remix) | fall out boy ft foxes ♠ just one yesterday | kagamine len & rin ♠ childish war | p!nk ♠ the king is dead but the queen is alive | panic! at the disco ♠ hurricane | choucho ♠ mozaik role | paramore ♠ grow up | jubyphonic ♠ outer science | panic! at the disco ♠ stall me | paramore ♠ monster (phlebo bootleg remix) | marina and the diamonds ♠ rootless | band of horses ♠ the funeral (butch clancy remix) | hideaki anno ♠ a cruel angel’s thesis
honestly if you claim to be a “godphone” I’m going to watch you like a hawk until it’s been proven because I will not trust you at all
I don’t trust me either, even though I do claim that…it’s too easy to screw up and abuse others’ confidence, even if I mean well. I’ve had people ask me to ask [Deity] something and I’m just like, naw man, down that way lies only a lot of trouble neither of us want, it’s not worth it.
yeah see I mean “BUT LOKI SAID HE’S ALLERGIC TO PEANUTS AND I’M HIS FAVORITE DEVOTEE oh and also [cross-pantheon reltionship claim that contradicts several dozen sets of mythos]” not, like, what you just said. like if the first thing I know about a person is that they are the one true Prophetess of all three Hecates I’m gonna be throwing a little red flag.
This is partly why I have godphone blacklisted on all of my browsers with xKit because I just don’t want to see those ridiculous tall tales from people. Especially since godphone was literally a term jokingly created at a big pagan gathering as a way to make fun of eccentrics.
Do you have a source for that last? Because the way I’ve seen it told by one of the people who was present when the term was coined was that it was a tongue-in-cheek way to refer to “getting communication from deities.”
Yeah, I’d really like a source for that last bit - as is pointed out, the people who were present when the term was created give a very different story. And considering that most of those people are very open about that, I’m highly doubtful of this sudden claim that it’s to ‘make fun’ of others.
This is rather complex, as I feel the Other People’s approach to the afterlife should largely be individual. We do have a concept of the otherworld (which we call the West and is specific to our gods and spirits) and of deceased human spirits, though.
We do not, however, have a concept of heaven or hell nor do we say that the People are destined toward any specific afterlife for being part of the People. I wouldn’t even say that our otherworld is eternal. A Person might believe that they will go to the West after they die, to inhabit that realm with the other spirits. Perhaps they believe that they will go on and become a guide for future Other People.
I, personally, don’t believe that will happen to myself, and am of the belief that when I die that will be all. I don’t feel that belief conflicts with faith in the gods or spirits. This is largely because I don’t think there is any reason for me to have an afterlife, whereas many of the human-spirits in the Other People’s stories are noted for either great or awful deeds when alive, or they died in a notable way. There is a certain amount of luck with whether a human becomes a spirit in the Otherfaith. This is part of why I think the People’s approach to life after death must be taken in a loose fashion.
The way we view our otherworld and the spirits and gods we interact with is not with the intent to have a place for us after we die. Rather than viewing the West as a place for us after we have died, we view it as a land existing currently alongside our own that we can interact with right now, as we breathe and move. Because the West is seen more as a warped mirror to our own world, rather than as an afterlife landscape, we approach it differently. (For example, spirits are able to die in the West’s stories, and little is heard of them after that.)
Until and unless the gods themselves speak of a firmer afterlife for the People, one which the People would of course have to consider among ourselves, our belief toward life-after-death will be up to individual belief.
I am not able to get a refund for my flight, and there were other costs I had sunk into the conference (for materials for the presentation) that I can’t get back. Unfortunately, getting a new flight would have been too much money, and I couldn’t wrangle a refund. (Which, considering the guaranteed refund tickets were twice as much…I knew going in. It still sucked.)
I will be slowly refunding donors as I’m able - because the flight was the majority of the cost, I can’t just refund everyone immediately. People will be refunded as I get money to refund them though.
I am planning on making next year’s Polytheist Leadership Conference, partially to see Morpheus Ravenna speak, with my own money. (I’ll be taking Amtrak rather than flying, though.) Still, donators will be refunded as soon as I can do so.
Shiro Sagisu - A Cruel Angel’s Thesis. (2009 version)
how the fuck did I not know this existed…
There is a verbal and sexual abuser trying to (re) enter the Tumblr pagan community. He is a well known abuser and predator in other communities and has a history of abusing people. He also has a history of playing the victim and blaming his victims for deserving his abuse or not ‘really’ being abused. They have also stolen information (religious and spiritual) from other people and caused damage in other religious and spiritual communities through their theft.
Please keep an eye out for starcrossedserpents on both Tumblr and WP. They are participating in the Pagan Blog Project, so you may run into them there. Please signal boost this so people know to avoid this person.
Good news all.
Starcrossedserpents has shut down their blogs. For the time being, our community is a little bit safer. I encourage you all to keep your eyes out for any blogs that look similar to starcrossedserpents, though. (And remember, their other blog is blackeyedchildren.)
Through speaking out, we’ve kept someone from worming into our community and hurting people. Which makes me feel good, because at least for now, someone will not have to go through what I (and many others) did.
Yes, they’re still active on that blog. BEC’s partner-system, who have supported their behaviour (and have contributed to some of the verbal abuse) blog at on-ash-tree-lane. BEC have another blog called we-men-of-letters. Do be careful. BEC/Obi& mistreated us as well (although we were never romantically involved with them).
Many thanks to plures for providing more information! Please remember to stay away from all of those accounts, and don’t let them get a foothold in our community. Let them know we don’t support abusers! Tumblr is not a hunting ground for them to find their next victim!
Starcrossedserpents is currently shut down, but remember to stay away from blackeyedchildren, we-men-of-letters, and their partner, on-ash-tree-lane.
I’m sorry to post this on the religious blog, but this abusive man (who used to prey on the spiritual communities here on Tumblr) is making an entrance back into fandom and feel the need to spread the news.
blackeyedchildren is back as star-system, yes-yes-strawberries, omgthingstiel, and emperor-rising. This man preys on young queer people and has a reputation in his past communities. If you see him around, please let people know what is up and that he is unsafe. He’s been doing this for years and is just awful awful awful. Don’t let anyone else get hurt by him.
Anon - I got your question, but it will take a while to answer it. (Outernet business mainly.)
An Exciting Project
There is a new website coming about for polytheist thought and discussion – polytheist.com
Of course, I’m very excited about this new site being put together by some amazing polytheist voices, and to see where it heads into the future. I look forward to the launch.
Honestly, I have no idea how to integrate my religious life with the rest of my life. Or, rather, I don’t know how to not go full-throttle on the religious aspects of my life. They’re either fully on or completely off, and when they’re off, they’re almost impossible to start up again. I keep turning the key and cranking the engine, and it just chokes. The car won’t start.
More than that, I’m not turning the key anymore. I’ve committed The Sin - not doing religious practice. Oh, but I can hear the exclamations that, well, if I’m not doing anything, how can I expect the gods to show up? Why am I being so needy, lazy human meatbag that I am? But I don’t care that the gods aren’t showing up, not beyond little pings and pushes. I just do not care. The floor has shifted under me. There is glass between us.
Even when I think of journeying now, it’s not Me. It’s just stories that I can weave or write or draw. I feel the vague presence of the gods, forms drifting about, but that is the extent of it. I am aware of them and my changed relationship with them. My emotional response is - muted. Is this burnout? The eventual end of the ‘dark night’? I always thought the end would be more. Certainly, the world has fallen from my feet. I can no longer stand where I was. But I turn back toward the holy powers not with longing but with a simple question of how I can integrate them into my life now.
And how strange it is, that I am full of this feeling that if I can’t integrate them, well, that means they’ll just have to wait. All that urgency has bled out of me. It’s like I’ve been lanced onto one of the Laetha’s spears. She has bled me in a way I’ve never known. Bled me empty in this way, and yet I still hold onto her spear, waiting for the longing, the passion, the fire to return to me. I don’t pray for it to return. I don’t entreat the holy mothers to give it to me again. I just ask if it will and wonder at the answer that I can’t hear.
We are separated by glass. I’ve not felt their stories in this way. This simple, present way, a way that does not consume or destroy my heart. Stories that simply reside next to me. the Laetha’s spears. the Clarene’s cunning smile. the Dierne’s crazed revelries. the Ophelia’s river. And the Laethelia and Ophelene, off at the ocean, pirate and mermaid wooing and killing and wooing again. I like their stories. I hold them dear. But I touch them as if I were already reading a book, no longer taking place in them.
On one hand, not taking place in them is a blessing that, last year, I wouldn’t have imagined I could have. Last year was like being set on fire, again and again, like being stabbed by a thousand tiny knives aimed for the most painful nerves. This year was stumbling, just stumbling until I finally stopped and turned back and there were the gods. There were the spirits. Hovering around me like mist. Glorious in the way gods sound in old books.
Not gods that thunder in your life. Not the way the Clarene almost knocked me down in that dream from an age ago, atop that purple-red horse, her hair glorious and endless and starry, her voice booming and commanding.
(My mother warned me of turning everything in my life into a story. But I have no other way of living. All life is just words, waiting to be said. Waiting to be properly seen and spoken aloud. And if I have turned gods to crystal stories that I can hold but no longer feel warmth from, that is simply how I live.
They taught me how to feel warmth from other people before I trapped them in gold and silver, so perhaps it will be alright in the end.)
I cannot close my ears off to them, but my body has shut itself off. I do not burn. I ache only in that way in which you reach for someone who should be there but who has been absent for months, for years. ‘There,’ you think as you stare at their favorite seat. That’s where they used to sit. But someone else sits there now.
Perhaps what made me so - I hesitate to say ‘good’ - so devout about religion was the singular focus I possessed for it. The energy that I thrust into that endeavor has scattered to many different realms. With religion, I was driven. Bull-headed. Atrociously obnoxiously in love with all of it. Yet now that I’ve turned away from it -
All I want to do is write about fanfic. Anime. Silly stories, dumb comics. (Write of these things I grew up on, that formed my very existence, that saved me when the gods didn’t - because do you honestly think it was them in the hospital room when I was sobbing? It was spirits, surely, but spirits so entwined with stories that there is no separating them. It was not gods. It was spirits like ink on a page, like pixels on a screen.) The truth of it is that I’ve always preferred those sorts of things - breaking down Rowling’s bull shit treatment of queer characters, ranting about my favorite anime and why it’s my favorite, hunting down obscure yaoi, hunting down even more obscure fanfic. Religion was there because I had to do it, to mean something. I was good at it, so I had to pursue it, or else what would I be doing in my life? I’d be a total failure and a loser. I wouldn’t be contributing to society. Which is the most important thing - contributing in big, useful ways that everyone can see are big and useful!
Maybe I’m okay with the gods being caught in gold and silver wires. Maybe I’m okay with their hands no longer touching right on my skin. Maybe I don’t want to be big or useful or anything.
That’s not who I want to be.
(And through all of this, I have found the spirits again, still hazy, still mist around my shoulders. I found what the Laetha pierced out of me and what she has left behind, and it is a speaking for a different type of spirit, the kinds that I have known since childhood, since I carried books into the wilderness in the hopes that I would fall into fairyland.)