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Questions about Odin - Round 3 "A Matter of Pride"

I''m so glad readers are taking the time to post or email me their questions. I enjoy writing about Odin, and each question that i've received has given me a great deal of food for thought. I like that; I like engaging with anything that makes me think. Perhaps it's an Odinic trait, hmmm? 

Over on my personal blog, http://krasskova.weebly.com/blog.html, Visons from Afar recently asked a question that caused me to sit back and really think for quite awhile before sitting down to type this out. Visons asks about pride, and how to differentiate between good and bad pride in one's engagement with the Holy Powers and this is a good question, not only because Heathenry puts a tremendous cachet on expressing pride for one's worthy deeds, but also because this is something that I'm willing to bet most of us have wrestled with at some point or another.  I'm going to take a stab at answering it here and I encourage my readers to offer your own advice and insights here as well. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Liza
    Liza says #
    My first thought too was that if Odin called me "quite rude" I might actually die on the spot of embarrassment. That is likely tru
  • Brea Saunders
    Brea Saunders says #
    There is profound and wise content here that stands alone no matter one's dieties, thank you for writing it I'm grateful for havin
  • Carl
    Carl says #
    Thank you, it's just what I needed to hear.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Questions on Odin - Round 2

 

 

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Another Question on Piety from a Reader

 

In response to my call for questions, Trine asked me the following: 

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  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova says #
    That's a brilliant question and I want to take a little while to think about it. I'll answer to the best of my ability but it may
  • Amarfa
    Amarfa says #
    I have a question: If there's such a thing as pagan piety, is there such a thing as pagan sacrelige, and what form would it take?
  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova says #
    I had to sit with this for a few long moments before responding because I was having a strong emotional response to the use of the
  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova says #
    Hi Tannim, no, i don't think so. Not at all. Piety is an attitude that infiltrates everything, that dominates the way you engage
  • Tannim Wolfkin
    Tannim Wolfkin says #
    Here is a newbie question that I get all the time but would like your take on it as well. Does one have to observe all the various

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Questions on Piety from a Reader

In my previous post, I promised that if people wanted to ask me questions about my practice or about the way I express piety in my devotional life, I would be more than happy to answer them. Liza broke the ice and asked the following three questions, which I found very insightful, so I decided to tease them out into their own separate post. 

 

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  • Liza
    Liza says #
    Thank you, BTW, for thinking out these questions to give answers. I've had a busy week, and I am now only catching up on reading a
  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova says #
    Trine, thank you for your question. I just answered it in my most recent post. Go and take a look. These are good questions, fol
  • Trine
    Trine says #
    Thanks for opening up for questions - this one has been on my mind for a while. Maybe there's no answer to it (and maybe it's too

Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Yet More on Piety

 

In a comment to my previous article, Anne Niven wrote: 

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  • Tannim Wolfkin
    Tannim Wolfkin says #
    Just finished writing a paper on hubris for my English class and came across this post. Wish I had read it before finishing the da
  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova says #
    Thank you, Laura. I think you may be on to something with the way our society devalues service. In Heathenry, part of it is also t
  • Laura P
    Laura P says #
    Thank you again for writing about piety, a subject all too often overlooked in modern paganism. To me piety means respect, love an
  • Christine L Berger
    Christine L Berger says #
    Piety to me is a manifestation of love and respect intertwined. It is a reflection in my heart, in my being, of the desire to giv
  • Liza
    Liza says #
    Questions first, then answers: For the newbie, youn'in, seeker without a physical community to led them, how do you suggest they s
Ritual, Monotheism, and Again with the Piety

 Seriously, folks, argue and disagree with me all you want, but do so based on what i say, not the misinterpretations you project onto what I say. I find it particularly interesting that in the course of the comments to my two articles on ritual (both those posted and those I received privately), quite often I'm being accused of everything BUT promoting piety and respect in ritual. Why is that such a difficult and challenging concept? It certainly wasn't for our ancestors. Piety was a central concept to the majority of ancient polytheisms, though of course the words used to describe this behavior varied from culture to culture. Plato, for instance, wrote an entire dialogue ("Euthyphro") in which the definition of piety was the central issue under discussion. The ancient Romans considered it a necessary and sacred virtue and one simply cannot read writers like Cicero, Pliny, or Seneca (to name but a few) without finding exhortation after exhortation to pious behavior both within one's temples and without. Why is it so difficult for us moderns? Because it is. I don't quite know why, though I have my suspicions, but it really is.(1) 

Unlike Plato, who had his character Euthyphro define piety in part as 'what is dear to the gods,' i would, in addition, define it as 'right behavior toward the Gods.' Piety is a curb and a guide to our behavior.  Of course, right behavior implies precisely that: that there is a right and wrong way of behaving, that there are standards. Standards do not imply tyrannical theocracy. They imply behaving properly and mindfully as the occasion and interaction demands. Now I've written about the opposite of piety here: http://krasskova.weebly.com/1/post/2012/05/pagan-blog-project-i-is-for-impiety.html for those who might want to take a peek. I'm going to let that stand and speak for itself, because there actually is a right way of doing things and it's not that difficult to figure out.  You know what else? The Gods and ancestors are more than capable of telling us what it is if we do the work and listen. Of course that might lead us to a reordering of our priorities but c'est la vie.

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  • helmsman of inepu
    helmsman of inepu says #
    I think you're right about "the filter." You even see it operating with "Evangelical" atheists- it's not enough for them not to be
  • Ainslie
    Ainslie says #
    Paganisms of the world are diverse. Galina's a particular person doing particular work in a particular context. Some of that conte
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Oh dear. I really wasn't gonna jump back into this, but feel I've been pulled in by reference. So I'll speak up and say, "me, me!
  • sannion
    sannion says #
    The amateur sociologist of religion in me looks at this kerfuffle and says, "Oh, this is just the community moving into a new stag
  • Amarfa
    Amarfa says #
    Ok. I'm confused, where was the part about 'piety' questioned? You're preaching to the choir when it comes to the Romans being ve

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

Over the last few weeks, some of the bloggers at the Pagan Channel on Patheos have been posting short explanations as to how and why they became Pagan. I'll tackle that question, too, but in a manner more appropriate to this column: as a life-long bibliophile, books have had a huge influence on my spiritual development. The genres, target audience, and quality of those books have varied widely; the majority were not even aimed specifically at Pagans. Nonetheless, during my formative years (say, childhood through mid-adolesence), these books contributed to thoroughly corrupting me.

Augustus Caesar's World by Genevieve Foster, for instance, which I first found at the public library as a child, lost track of, then rediscovered in the tiny children's section in my college library. I adore the artwork, and I love how Foster interweaves the personal histories of ordinary people with those of major personages and important events. It was this book which first made me a fan of Cleopatra, and led me to further explore women's history and the religions of the ancient world.

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