Ultimately, I want to write a longer reflection on Jenn’s piece and give it the response it deserves, and it has also prompted some peripheral thoughts that are worthy of exploring. So, many thanks to Jenn for writing this.
Jenn, one of the Other People, has written about work & Work over on her blog, ‘Between Ocean and Hills’. She blogs about the Otherfaith and about her other religious and spiritual work and, as always, it is a wonderful…
Yet the word ‘work’ is met with distaste in many Pagan circles. It is heard among polytheists, godspouses, and some spirit workers; it’s hardly surprising that these groups have slunk further away from Pagans considering the outright hostility the ‘spiritual but not religious’ have to the idea that spirituality may be difficult, challenging, and involve work. Often, we’re chided that if we really cared for our deities, if we were truly ‘spiritual’, we would not consider it ‘work’. Work is ‘bad’ – because it’s hard. Because it’s not always fun.
The enabling or acceptance of abuse, claiming that the gods should be able to tolerate a human victimizing another because the abuser needs the gods, is nothing short of disgusting. There is nothing sacred in supporting abusers. There is nothing holy or spiritual.
Our gods don’t want the worship of a predator.
It is walking across cracked concrete and noticing the dark, twisting roads and not resenting or decrying progress. Connection is a phone or a coffee or a flickering street lamp – it is finding your gods in such places. It is joy in presentation and the game of socialization. It is the rush and flood of college students and the sudden silence of summer in a university town.
Spiritual pollution in the Otherfaith is largely tied to shame. Shame hinders our devotions, drawing our minds into mazes that we can’t escape. Shame also appears often in the stories of our spirits, causing hesitation during key moments or outright driving them to suicide in worsening situations.
The spirits call July ‘Hell Month’, in recognition of the difficult period the gods go through. But knowing that, walking into Hell Month knowing that I would go through hell, doesn’t make the change easier. My responses were no more reasonable having expected serious religious upheaval. I was lost, as the gods were, stumbling in the dark of a spiritual night.
Being accepted as a part of the Other People is to be led through the gates or have them opened for you, at which point – even should you chose to leave for other orchards – you will always be welcome.
Over on Gangleri’s Grove, Galina Krasskova has posted an interview she did with me on the Otherfaith and what it is like to build a new religious tradition. Please check it out. This blog has been silent lately. Part of…
What the faith emphasizes is recognizing that horror and working to not engage in it again. We do not have a place for people who will blame their horrors on others and continue victimizing people. That is not recovery, it is not healing, and it is against all that is sacred to us.
Yesterday, I learned that one of the People and writers for this blog was not who I thought them to be. Fey Lopez came to me as a very hurt individual, someone who was struggling. From the beginning, I knew…
It felt good to say the words that I had rather than grappling for words that scattered at my search. And if I am any judge, it seems the Four Gods were pleased with what I did, simple as it was.
If we break our devotional goals into chunks and honestly assess our ability, we will be able to live a devotional life easier. One in which we feel fulfilled, committed, and good about our devotions. One where we give devotions as is expected but don’t fall under the weight of the work, and one where we can experience joy in our prayers.
When the impossible becomes possible, a miracle has occurred. My life is miraculous, and day by day, the Gods are teaching me to own that miracle.
Communal (“shared”) prayer is a vital part of the Other People’s life. By sharing in prayer, we come closer to our gods and to each other. This is why we have structured prayer and why an Other Person makes time for prayer.