Anomalous Thracian: Constructing Living Tradition

A polytheanimist Thracian perspective on creating, rebuilding, and embodying ancestral religions as living traditions in the 21st century. Religion as life, life as spirit, spirit as being.

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Anomalous Thracian

Anomalous Thracian

A temple priest, shaman, and spirit-worker in the Thracian tradition, Anomalous Thracian lives in a van in the Northeast United States, with a crazed raven from Africa. He teaches foundational spiritual principles and results-oriented mysticism, with a focus on anchoring ancient nomadic wisdoms and values in contemporary reality. A Thracian mystic reconstructionist, he leads an initiatory tradition and facilitates rituals, traditional rites of passage, various methods of divination and temple functions appropriate to the needs of the community. In all of his doings, he attempts to honor the ancestors, the gods, and his living relations in this world and the rest of them, while focusing also on further understanding and addressing contemporary issues of race, gender, and sexuality.

Portable Shrines: Mobile Shrines and Altars

I spent a significant portion of my recent life living in a van, nomadic and driving as far and as often as fuel prices and weather permitted throughout the American Northeast. It was an interesting (and cold, wintery) time, and one born of circumstance, calamity, and character-testing chance. Amongst other things, it challenged my devotional practices, ritual observances and prayer cycles, which for years leading up to that were satisfied in a full-time dedicated Temple. In these months, I learned mobile and slimmed-down tactics, adapted from previously developed short-term tricks for traveling and engaging devotionally in the wilds. Not all religious practices are easily made to move about in small-form. Yesterday, on a social media site, a co-religionist of mine posted an open question to the community, asking about suggestions for and experiences with altar boxes of a portable, easily stowed variety. Below is my (hopefully somewhat helpful) reply, which I share here in case it is of use to others.

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And, not Or

I sit here in my Hudson Valley home’s very overgrown-and-green back yard, on a redbrick courtyard cobbled in the last decades of the 19th century, replying to emails and catching up on correspondence following this last week’s (very successful) Polytheist Leadership Conference, held in nearby Fishkill, New York. I open one email, praising such-and-such presenter’s discussion on this-and-that, and another which asks important moving-forward questions about community building, bilocation, interfaith dialog, and engagement strategies for further social outreach, education and communication. I eat pizza, and I ruminate, over all of the Guinness remaining from the various inter-community after-parties (during which theologies were addressed, gods discussed, and religious and social identities hashed out in hypothetical language around a fire lit with prayer and reverence), and I ponder.

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  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Anomalous: I'm happy to see you returning to PSQ. Namaste, Anne

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PantheaCon 2014 began a little over two weeks ago, and ended a little under two weeks ago, and I am still not finished writing all of my post-PantheaCon-reflections and remarks, primarily because I have hit the ground running on my return to the Northeast (as I have yet another major move lined up in the next few days). That said, as I did last year, I will share my personal account of the conference here. What follows are collections of my reflections and meanderings through the long weekend in San Jose, edited for deployment here at Witches and Pagans.

I arrived in California from Boston's Logan International a few days in advance, and my pre-con activities included some time in the chair at one of my California tattoo artist's shop, getting some devotional work done, and generally socializing with awesome people between Berkeley and San Francisco, who I've missed the company of since my move.

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  • Christine L Berger
    Christine L Berger says #
    Thank you so much for your sharing. I was at Pantheacon as well, and found myself led to things I had not planned and blocked fro

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Dissonant Comfort

Dissonant Comfort

A Disparity of Value and the Virtue of Discord

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  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus
    P. Sufenas Virius Lupus says #
    All I can say in response to your final paragraph is: Hail Paneris!
  • Christine L Berger
    Christine L Berger says #
    Good stuff. Thanks
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Anomalous Thracian, I have officially owned my discomfort. Yet I still enjoyed your blog post, LOL. Spot on, from someone who p

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Stop Talking to Yourself

The Importance of Listening and Responding

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  • Sharon Knight
    Sharon Knight says #
    My, what a poetic soul you are!
  • Laura P
    Laura P says #
    Thank you for this. Communication is the crux of any relationship be it internal or external with humans and with the Gods and the

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Razing the Temple

Razing the Temple

It is a damn good time to be a polytheist.

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  • Soli
    Soli says #
    I am working on emerging back into the virtual community so I will add words here. If there is anything I can do to assist in your
  • Natasha Kostich
    Natasha Kostich says #
    Thank you for all the Work you do! May your new temple and life be blessed by the Gods and Ancestors!!!
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Anomalous Thracian, May your new temple be filled with devotion and piety, and may the Goddesses and Gods bless your endeavors.
  • Dver
    Dver says #
    So glad to see you back, and look forward to future posts! I cannot even imagine the intensity of razing a temple you built and ca
  • Anomalous Thracian
    Anomalous Thracian says #
    Thank you, Tim!

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Gods of Consequence

In the various debates that have been coming up of late, about the further differentiation of polytheism from other paganisms (especially humanist paganism, “self-centered” paganism, super-hero-worshiping-archetypalism, and so forth), I have noticed something. Obviously both sides of the various “lines” being “drawn” are having trouble coming together in agreement around a great many things, and both sides feel very misunderstood by the other. (That's what disagreement frequently leads to...) However, in all of my talks with polytheist colleagues, theologians, and co-religionists, none of “us” seem to be confused by *what* the archetypal-and-superhero-folks are saying about their beliefs or practices. We may be dumbstruck by some of their statements – generally when they are comparing their thought-forms to our gods in direct and offensive to us ways – but overall I don't sense a disconnect of understanding in that particular direction. (Agreement is another matter entirely...)

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  • Nicole Youngman
    Nicole Youngman says #
    But...but...hard polytheist folks, why on earth do you CARE what we think? I'm utterly, totally serious here. I don't get it. If t
  • Anomalous Thracian
    Anomalous Thracian says #
    Nicole, there are various reasons why we care about ideas that we find to be both dangerous and offense (and in my case, the "dang
  • Liza
    Liza says #
    ^^This^^ I can not like this enough. I am not going to reiterate everything you said, but I will add as a "no name" and "home gro
  • Dver
    Dver says #
    If that's really a serious question, I did address at least some aspects of the answer here: http://forestdoor.wordpress.com/2013/
  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus
    P. Sufenas Virius Lupus says #
    As Dver and Anomalous have already said, we don't really care what you think. But, we're forced to care what you think, and to de

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