Happy Monday everyone.
This is the last week of January – I hope the first month of 2015 has been well! This week, for my weekly offering, I changed up the oil I use for my water offerings (switching from peppermint to eucalyptus). As usual I laid out my herbal blend offering and lit incense, and that was that.
The mythic story I was working on for January recently fell to the side when I began drawing again, in preparation for actually putting together a comic based on some of the spirits in the Otherfaith. I’ve still been toying with the story and pushing it along, difficult as it sometimes is, but I’ve found interest lately in contemplating the blurred line of fiction and mythic truths and stories in my own work.
Aster Aira, the intended focus of my January piece, has a good number of children spawned from his various lives and half-lives. His descendant Aeron Blake is the main character of the concept-comic I’ve been working on – though when I was originally writing Aeron, I didn’t consider him anything more than a character. He was intended to simply be a foil to another character.
The more I wrote and interacted with his character, though, the more I realized he was his own spirit. I had divination done – by myself and others. But at the end of the day, it didn’t really matter what the divination turned up. Aeron Blake was his own spirit, beyond but tied to the story I was writing. He could no more be separated from the fiction that possible created him than my brain be safely removed from my body. If I wanted to rip him apart and be left with nothing, I could certainly scrub his origins away. I could have just as simply decided that he remain a character even as he expressed his own self, expressed himself as a spirit beyond me. Doing so would have stifled him and my own spiritual work. But it was something I considered. Spirits aren’t supposed to be human-created.
(I’ve also found that it matters more if you trust your diviner than getting a bunch of divination done. When I trust my diviners and value their words, I am more likely to halt my hasty decisions.)
Still, as intertwined as my own fiction and spirituality are, what I wrote didn’t simply become true through my writing it. My characters do not regularly pop into spirits. There has to be a certain fire to catch in the world of spirits for that to happen. And it doesn’t matter whether a piece is about the gods and spirits to begin with. When the fire catches, it catches. As I’ve practiced more, become more comfortable in myself and the spirits, the less I’ve cared whether there is some Reality to my stories.
It’s easier to go with the flow, letting the spirits be as they will. Aeron was served most by my letting him simply be. Every attempt I made to force him one way or another, every attempt to discern some base Truth or Reality to him, failed. Perhaps that is the nature of the Otherfaith spirits. They find edges and move into the space between them.
As I write for Aster and Aeron, they are aided by my telling a good story. I can’t sacrifice that in order to make the story pure or correct to every experience they have. With Aster especially, who teaches us of dreaming and losing ourselves, it is impossible to chase down the ‘right’ story. There are simply stories. My stories may conflict with another Person’s yet both be useful and valid.
If anything, I – as a mystic in the Otherfaith – am here to help stories develop as to best serve the story and the spirits therein. My story of the big mythic happenings in the Otherfaith’s West do not mean that conflicting myths can’t be written. They wouldn’t even (usually) be considered Divergences. Perhaps the differing stories show us different variations on a god. Or perhaps they show us how complex they are. There are so many factors to consider as we build these stories and find points where they differ. They have no need to be simplified into one easy story that is branded as Truth. That isn’t the purpose of our canon anyway.
In different news, I will be writing posts for the Pagan Experience focused on an Otherfaith perspective. I will be backdating these as they go up, but they will be linked to on our social media so don’t miss out! These posts will go up every Sunday. Because Sage is writing posts based on the alphabet, I will not be posting for the alphabet prompts related to the Pagan Experience.
Have a good week!
Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.