Tag Archives: paganism
Aside

I’ve read a few posts from people acting

30 May
I’ve read a few posts from people acting like someone pissed in their Cheerios because other people worship/venerate/work with/whatthefuckever pop culture entities in their practice. You have to believe they way they believe, worship the way they worship, or it’s wrong. In fact, everyone should believe the way they believe and worship the way they worship because we owe it to the gods.
 
Example of this last bit:
 
The gods deserve us – all of us, every single human on this earth – to be in awe of Them, to have such deep gratitude for Their presence that we regularly make sacrifices to feed Them, hold large festivals to celebrate Them, make incredible art to glorify Them, and do everything we can to maintain a right relationship with Them both because They are wonderful and because we need Them. (Source)
Am I the only one creeped out by this attitude? It reeks of the same obligatory bullshit that I hear when my mother drags me to church with her on Sunday mornings. You must believe in the gods in the way I believe in Them and practice how I think you should practice or you’re contributing to the downfall of modern paganism and are disrespecting the gods.
 
I can’t prove that deities exist. I actually believe in the existence of all possible deities, even smartass deity constructs like the Flying Spaghetti Monster and the Invisible Pink Unicorn. I only worship one, and that’s Eris. But I can’t even prove She exists. It’s possible She’s a benign auditory hallucination. I don’t believe She is, but all I have is my belief and a voice in my head that isn’t mine. I made an offering and asked Her to help me through a particularly difficult therapy session (therapy is a battle, too–the fact that my opponent is my own fucked-up traumatized mind is irrelevant) and She did indeed help, but I can’t prove that wasn’t a placebo effect. I have a deep, fervent belief in Eris, and that faith isn’t threatened by someone who thinks She’s a personification of natural forces and deals with Her as such, nor is it threatened by someone who works with the Joker. If either of these things pisses Her off, She can deal with it as She sees fit to do so. I’m pretty sure She’d laugh at me if I actually tried to go to bat for Her like She can’t take care of Herself, like anything or anyone but my own ego is harmed by these practices.
 
I can’t speak for everyone’s relationship with their deity/deities, but neither Eris nor I need this relationship. She can get on just fine without me, and while my life would be harder and less interesting without Her, I lived a couple of years completely apathetic about the existence of deities and it was pretty manageable. In some ways, it’s simpler to live without deities. It’s not easier, but it’s far less complicated IMHO. But I continue because I have faith in Her and I want Her in my life. She sticks around because … well, I’m not quite sure why, but She does and that’s pretty awesome.
 
As long as one isn’t hurting someone else, I couldn’t care less if you worship Superman. Even if Superman isn’t real in the sense of some objective reality, even if it’s all in your head, where else does one experience things but their mind? If it affects your life, it’s real enough. I have read enough philosophy dealing with reality and skepticism about reality that I am unconcerned with whether or not my experiences meet some objective standard of capital “T” Truth, if that standard even exists. If Superman speaks to someone in a deity-like fashion, I can’t prove that is somehow lesser than my communications with Eris, nor do I need to if I’m actually even a little bit secure in my faith. I have never read anything that gives me any indication that any society has been in 100% agreement about the nature of reality, the divine, or much of anything. And yes, that includes ancient polytheists. Shockingly, your pet theory is no more or less correct than anyone else’s because we just don’t know. The age of your gods doesn’t prove their existence over someone else’s, your text don’t prove themselves. It’s all based on faith, so unless your practice is harmful to someone else, it’s all pretty equally valid. 

Divine Intervention and Communication

22 Feb

An atheist friend once asserted that, even if deities exist, They don’t deserve worshiping because They could stop human suffering and don’t. This idea actually makes me a bit uncomfortable because, among other reasons, I reject the idea that deities should interfere, even positively, in the lives of people who haven’t signed up for it. That has a lot to do with my experiences with divine communication.

My godphone has a pretty good signal. I hear deities as clear as day as if we were talking on a cell phone in a quiet place with excellent reception. Communications with Eris are mostly pleasant, and even when they’re not Her messages are a positive influence on my life. But even though it’s often pleasant, having a distinct voice that is not my own in my head is rather odd. And Eris isn’t the only deity that has dialed my godphone.

I didn’t hear one word from the Christian God when I was a Christian, but I have heard plenty as a pagan forced to sit in the second pew on Sundays when visiting my mother. God makes no bones about how He doesn’t want me there & knows I don’t want to be there and it would best for all involved if I would GTFO. This is not ever pleasant; I suffer headaches, nausea, once I have even had a seizure. I have to mark the soles of my feet with protective symbols just to be left alone.

And communication isn’t the only way Eris has played a part in my life. She isn’t shy about playing some disorder games to see how I handle it. I handle it well and am stronger for it, but it isn’t pleasant. It isn’t anything particularly horrid, but it is rather stressful.

The point is, what deities want to do for a human, regardless of whether the deity cares about you or is pissed that you’re around, can be really hard to deal with. Eris and I have a relationship, and Her interference in my life is a part of that relationship. The whole world didn’t sign up for that, though. The whole world didn’t agree to let Her in their various minds and let Her play in their lives. And I wouldn’t think it was okay for Her to do whatever with some unsuspecting atheist or Christian or anyone else just because Her actions ended up benefiting that person. It’s just not ethical behavior.