Happy Monday everyone. This past Saturday we had our first Otherfaith hangout on G+. Thanks to everyone who joined! I am planning on hosting hangouts every Saturday. We discussed a variety of things – the Darren and Ophelene, our Eighth unnamed god, and ‘doing the work’. It was brought up during our conversation that ‘doing the work’ is a rather misused phrase, however.
So, for this week, I want to suggest people contemplate what it means to perform religion. What does it mean to act religiously? How does performing and performance factor into religion? Is contemplation – or is any conscious thought process – a religious or devotional act?
Similar to a statement I posed during the hangout, how do we keep ourselves from falling into a trap of thinking that the gods, or someone else, will take care of our problems or fix the world? What obligations do we have, from our religion, to improving the world around us? How do we keep from assuming that a better world is found ‘tomorrow’ instead of making one ‘today’?
Relatedly, how do we encourage ourselves and others to take action without shaming or being condescending toward each other? In Managing Your Mind by Gillian Butler and Tony Hope, the authors discuss the uselessness of shaming or demeaning ourselves for our failings. Instead, they note throughout the book, it is important to make mistakes and learn from them (part of which requires a safe environment) and to encourage ourselves. That is what will cause us to develop better habits and behaviors.
I think a good closing question for this contemplation is what devotional action looks like in your life. Where you perform prayers, when you do, how often, etc. What do your rituals or ceremonies look like in terms of timing, actual actions, items required, etc.
Now, for our weekly link rush.
Elliot has posted an update on his shrine. Though my main shrine is pretty much set up exactly how I want it, I think it’s always good to adjust your shrine space to figure out what works best and what allows you to move easiest.
Adventures in Vanaheim has a review of a new book of fairy tales that has come out.
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.