On Taking the Lead Down a Middle Road

This is largely for the various people that have individually come to me, often unaware of each other and some that I have yet to introduce to each other, to ask if I would take up some sort of leadership to create a new direction. A set of ideas between the various extremes that Pagans, Polytheists and people of related ideologies that tend to at least fall under a semi related umbrella seem to have gravitated to. Particularly for those who have found that individual practice and communication with people separated by great distance is the only available means of putting their ideals into motion. Continue reading

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Pre Post to “Loki Steals The Moon” : To Capitalize Or Not to capitalize?

So I wrote a short little more or less child friendly story which I’m going to share in the next post. While I was writing it I felt like I was stumbling over a particular issue: does it make sense to capitalize all of the pronouns that refer to Divine characters in a story? As I was writing I noticed that in doing so I ended up with a story in which it felt like every other word was capitalized. This was not only visually displeasing, it made it very difficult to read as I went back to do so. I posted the original draft privately with capitalization of all pronouns of all the characters , seeing as They were all Gods in Their own right. Then I asked for feedback from several of my friends. After reading some of their different ideas on the subject I decided for the purpose of a purely fictional story the practice of capitalization did not serve in the same way that it does in more conversational text and will be posting the story as such.

That said, what are some other thoughts on the subject of when and where capitalization of pronouns referring to Gods and not?

Also a question more for those who may have already researched the subject or may be prompted by reading this (as I plan to as best I can later on) where did the idea that the pronouns referring to Gods should be capitalized? For my own part, I can trace my sentiment that whenever you use He, She, They or other words to refer to a God to my Christian upbringing. The idea has no become commonplace among modern English speakers who worship other Gods than Jehovah for much the same reasons as our Abrahamic counterparts, but where did it start? Having capital and lower case characters isn’t even a universal concept. Runic alphabets for example lack this concept, as do non-phonetic and pictographic languages around the world. Is it an idea we adapted from the English speaking Church or is it present in other much earlier literature and languages in use by Polytheists?

All aboard the Crazy Train

(Mr. Osbourne’s dulcet tones provided for to set the mood. I’d have posted something officially sponsored like a VEVO video or something, but oddly that doesn’t come up as easily.)

So… the last year since anyone’s heard from me on here has been fun!

We’ll I’ll have to check. Maybe I did get in a post or two for 2014, I haven’t checked the dates yet. Rate around the start of 2014 instead of enjoying new year celebrations I got to enjoy the accommodations of an ER, and subsequently a number of doctor’s offices. As for what’s wrong with me… I have no clue, at least not specifically. I have a number of different things wrong with my spine, not just one thing, and the constant explanation from doctors I get is “Well this is bad but it shouldn’t be so bad to explain the pain your in” and a lot of general answers that amount to the usual medical line of “Fuck if I know. Go bug someone else.” Did I mention the pain? Um, yeah. A lot of pain. Pain to the point I’m taking state controlled narcotics and I still have the occasional day when walking from one room to the next in my tiny little apartment sends pain shooting up my spine, or at the least I can’t cook a meal without the same shooting up my arm. My current suspicion is that all the different list of separate spinal conditions (there’s about three or four, depending on which doctor I’m talking to) in and of themselves cause this, and I just need to find a doctor who’s willing to put that together so I can get on with life, even if it’s a very limited life.

[Side note for anyone thinking of commenting along the lines of ‘Maybe it’s ___’ or ‘Why don’t you try this ___’, do not do so. I try very hard to be patient with people who think they mean while, but after about five minutes it just becomes self righteous and annoying for a number of reason already explained in about a billion places on the net which I don’t feel the need to personally add to. So if anyone does post any comments like that, I don’t care if you even happen to be an MD, I’m deleting them because I didn’t ask for medical advice.]

So that more or less sums up 2014 for me. I’ve been putting off writing and many other things because I keep telling myself I’ll get back onto once I’ve stabilized things. I mean hell, my house still looks like I just moved in back in November of 2013. Half because while I’ve stabilized means of paying for rent, food, and basic utilities, and half because I’m physically unable to be physically active for more than maybe ten fifteen minutes at a time. On a good day. Kinda awkward to be writing about life, the universe, and all that divine jazz when you still haven’t managed to clean up your own house. Even if there’s good reason for it. Stabilizing things, just isn’t happening.

Recognizing that, I’m going to take a crack at posting every now and then and we’ll see how it goes. I’m also hoping to try and re-work the typical WordPress format with some of the tools already here. Get things off of the ‘all the posts in one never ending column’ format and do something crazy like set up a page that organizes the posts that are less time sensitive and contain more frequently useful information or stories. Stuff like that. Also going to go back and do a lot of editing and in some cases out right deleting. The last year has also taught me a lot about who I do and do not want to be dealing with. Particularly a major kick in the head that this whole looking for someone who’s somehow older/wiser/more knowledgeable/more skilled than I am thing? I should have left that idea behind me a long time ago. Every time I pursue that route I just end up tangled up with people who more often than not have more work to do getting their lives in order than I do. At best. At worst it’s people with aggressive and harmful agenda’s to push justified by their somehow perfect comprehension of the myriad Divine wills. Either way: I’m done.

With that amusing little preamble… on with take two!

Upcoming post on the Grimnirsol, ongoing discussion regarding showing submission to the Gods, etc.

I had originally planned to have a post finished by tonight regarding the Grimnirsol story about Odin, how it show’s His patients and His ability to learn from His own mistakes, but that isn’t quite finished yet. Typical me I got dragged into several interesting discussions at once.

One of the discussions I’ve been having with several friends is about how I personally find kneeling, genuflecting and other such actions that show submission to be an intrinsic part of relating to my Gods, while for some of them the opposite is true of their relationships with their Gods.

I asked one of my friends, Bianca, if she could write for me about the reasons why such actions she finds inappropriate in her own relationships, and that post can be found here: http://paininthebum.blogspot.com/2014/03/submission-and-supplication-to-my-gods.html

I’ve also started as a result of that discussion trying to research how exactly the original Norsemen felt about the idea of kneeling before a God. I don’t believe my approach will change either way, nor that my friends whose approach is opposite should change theirs, but I am curious to know if the practice has anything to do with the origins of Heathenry, or if it’s something only incorporated by myself and others since the days of Christianity or perhaps other influences that I have not considered.

Follow up to Why The Wolf Howls Alone

So my last post was not the best example of comprehensible writing I have ever produced. It left a lot to be desired in terms of editing for grammar and over all clarity of message. Kinda what happens when I write from a bit of an emotional place.

All that poor writing threw at least one person off and provoked the conclusion that I had in someway turned on Polytheism in general, abandoned the Gods who’ve been looking out for me, and become a Christian again. So I looked back and… yeah that last post was that poorly written. It is entirely possible for someone to have gathered that conclusion, so this post is to help clear some of that up.

The last post was written largely for my own benefit as a means of breaking away from elements I had begun to identify as hindering my relationship with Odin and the other Gods I’m gradually growing closer too. People who believe that somehow their service to the Gods makes them ‘elite‘, would go so far as to suggest those who disagree as to the specifics of practice might be suicidal in passive aggressive terms, etc. etc. (I could seriously dig up stuff like this all night, but who has the time), are not people I need to be associating with if I’m going to dedicate myself to Odin the way He wants me too. Partly because as one friend of mine put it: such behavior is only needed by those insecure in their beliefs. If I truly am secure in my choose path, then it should not matter to me so much that the paths of others differ. Nor should I wish to lash out at them for it.

Several years ago when I was a brash young teenager looking to take and give offense at every little slight that’s exactly what I did. All the time. Odin was the one who stopped me and said “No. This bs you’re spewing? I won’t stand for it. It isn’t useful to Me, to you, or anyone else, and you really ought to know better by now.” So as part of staying on that path, I’ve decided to make my break with those are so quick to give and take offense where none is called for.

Which is really sad all things considered. Both Galina and Sannion were people that early on reached out to me with hands of encouragement on my path and both have done a great deal of work, writing and otherwise, towards bringing the Gods of the Norse and Greek traditions to people that otherwise might never have thought to look. However wonderful all that may be though, I can’t let it cause me to turn a blind eye to matters of basic decency and consideration for other people of Faith as I have done up till now.

Also, more on how I meant about “The Wolf Howling Alone” that I feel like right now: previously it was my desire for a group that led me to censor some of my own ideas and be more forgiving of issues that I feel I ought not to have been. Being who and what I am, I don’t have a place in much of any religious gathering and had I continued to turn a deaf ear to thoughts in my head as simple as “this is not how He wants me to treat others,” I may very well have had a place. But I never would have been true to myself, much less to Him. So now for now, I’ll wander on my own again, for the very same reason that wolves of the four footed variety occasionally strike out alone from the pack: to find or build a new pack.

Ok… that’s quite enough of semi drama ish posts for now. Now to get to work on something I’ve been meaning to do for sometime, and start writing about the Old Man and the things I see in Him that others don’t as often see. Starting with a post about the Grimnirsol, and a discussion about just how patient a God Odin can be. Hopefully later on tonight or tomorrow.

Why the Wolf Howls Alone

The moon is full tonight… even now after six in the morning I can still feel it pulling from over my shoulder, calling me back to wakefulness after a long nap. Continue reading

What The Wolf Stands For

In my last post I hope I’ve done a fairly good job of explaining some of my own history, and thus established a context for where it has led me. From that, and other explorations that I have not described here but may at a later time, I have come to stand by several principles. A few of the ones I feel are more important and wish to share now are:

  • There are Beings known as Gods in the world, who I perceive to have individual natures, personalities, preferences, ambitions and histories, as well as personal influence and agency.
  • Gods tend to wield a subtle positive influence on the world, primarily though not solely through Their human devotees. Various forms of veneration, devotion, prayer, offerings and personal dedication to the Gods are ways in which mortals can show their appreciation for this. The continued exchange of mortal veneration and Divine guidance is of benefit to both Gods and humans.
  • There are some individuals, Mystics, who find by various means that they are able to more easily perceive the Gods. By doing so Mystics sometimes find themselves in conversations of varying degrees of clarity with the Gods, and thus a continued and evolving dialog between Gods and humans is maintained.

Those three are probably the least controversial points. Controversial perhaps to some, but still not all that new. From here, things get a bit hairier.

  • The reality and exact nature of the Gods is not a thing that humans, even Mystics, are capable of knowing by empirical means at this time. Knowledge of the Gods exists primarily in personal perceptions and we are limited in our ability to relay those perceptions. Unlike a glass falling from a table and breaking that two people may observe at the same time and through repeated experimentation come to an agreement that similar glasses dropped from the same position tend to break, most frequently the perception of a God occurs in some way within the individual and cannot be simultaneously observed by another. That being the case experiences of the Gods, whether recent gnosis written about in modern times or ancient lore, can not be validated in the same way as scientific principles (such as gravity and the fragility of glass). Because of this principle, any relationship with a God must first begin with a human individual’s active choice to believe in the God.
  • Mysticism is a useful but imperfect tool. Discernment is necessary to determine actual conversation with another Being from self delusion born of desire which is a natural part of human nature. Also, Mysticism is imperfect because the communication of a mystical experience is reliant on the shared belief of the origin and the recipient in the validity of the experience.

And now… some people are likely to be particularly pissed off at me. That’s fine. As long as a certain Flame Haired Bastard eases up a little bit on me for keeping my mouth shut for so long, I’m ok with that.

  • The Gods are as concerned with Their personal devotees, as They are with humanity as a whole. Their vision is long, and Their plans broader in scope than a single individual can comprehend. Even an Atheist may be a person of value in the eyes of a God that the individual denies the existence of.
  • Some messages from the Gods are meant for the individual, however many more are broader principles meant to be shared with as wide an audience as possible. It is not necessary for one to be a Mystic, or even to accept the reality of the Gods as fact, to benefit from the myriad of these lessons the Gods wish humans to benefit from.
  • Subtle means; parable, metaphor, fiction, even slightly more overt action taken by those who interact with the Gods in the form of activism and even simply providing one’s self as an example of conduct, are all means by which one human, Mystic or otherwise, can become a conduit for the Gods and aid in sharing Their messages with those who otherwise would not hear Them.

Now for some real fun.

  • The path of growing to know the Gods is a long one that each individual must take at its own pace, if at all. Some will progress farther on the path in a single lifetime and others will not. There is no shame nor pride to be found in progress or the lack of it, so far as humans should be concerned.
  • The Gods are aware of the differing capacity of different humans and ask more or less of an individual depending on the extent of progress made towards understanding Them and other variables. They may at times push an individual who is capable of more for greater devotion and work while being content with the present relation with others. A calling to a greater degree or lesser degree of devotion is not a measure of ones worth before the Gods, nor is it a truth that can be fully known outside of the personal relationship between God and devotee.

 

That should be a mouthful for some to chew on for now. Later on as I’m able there is more I wish to share. Especially how a particular tale, the Grimnismol, influences my understanding of how the Gods share Themselves with us, and how we may share Them with others. Also as some will be apt to notice anyway, several of the principles that I have now stated to hold to stand somewhat in conflict with many positions now loudly proclaimed among those who call themselves Polytheists. That I do intend to address as well, in time as I feel able to do so.

How The Wolf Got Here

I’ve been pretty quiet lately for two reasons. The first, because undiagnosed chronic pain issues suck and make it hard to focus on anything else. The second, because in following a lot of stuff that’s been flying around, I’ve found myself forced to think hard about my place in the Polytheist community, what it is, and what I want it to be. As part of that, I’ve been thinking back on how I got to where I am now and I feel it may be useful to share that story with others now. Continue reading

“Their Gods must not be real to them.”

Earlier when I asked for everyone’s attention I got just about that and a wealth of discussion was spurred, both in the post’s comments and in several other places around the internet that I’ve learned of through WordPress’ cool “referrers’ list” thingy. There was one section of my post though that got very little attention, and from what I can tell did not reach and may not be able to reach the audience that needs to read it most. The issue of throwing around the phrase “Their Gods must not be real to them”. Bianca Bradley pointed it out in the comments and suggested that a more in depth post might be needed, and moonwolf233 also commented on the possible damaging effects of this on her blog.

Continue reading