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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Questions on Devotion

Over the next few weeks, I'm going to start writing about the basics, the real fundamentals of devotion, spiritual engagement, and polytheism as I see it, live it, and teach it. I've often lamented that I see way too many people coming to me lacking the basic foundation, a foundation that were we living in a polytheistic society, were we living in a community where our indigenous traditions were intact never having been sundered by monotheism, would have been taught by osmosis. We'd have learned by doing. We'd have learned by living in a community where our parents, our grandparents, our leaders, our friends, our neighbors all modeled these ideas and approaches. It would have been reinforced by the community in a way that simply doesn't happen today.

I've often complained about this to colleagues, but it wasn't until a few days ago that my partner said "why don't you write a series on the basics of devotional work as a way of providing something of that foundation. Gods know people have enough questions." Well, I know a good idea when I hear it, hence this post. 

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Tess Dawson
    Tess Dawson says #
    Have you thought about covering the differences between shrines and altars?
  • Trine
    Trine says #
    I'd be really interested in a piece on that - from the p.o.v. of several traditions too, if there is a difference.
  • Rebecca Buchanan
    Rebecca Buchanan says #
    Okay, here is a silly/serious question: how important do you think it is to pepper our everyday speech with references to the Gods
  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova says #
    You know, i've never really thought about that. For me personally, it's not that important at all (though i did have a christian f
  • Tess Dawson
    Tess Dawson says #
    I've been working on this frequently. Sometimes you'll hear me pop out with a "Sweet Ditanu!" when I'm frustrated. (Ditanu is the
Wyrd Ways Radio Tackles the heroes vs. superheroes debate: Join us

The recent debate about fiction vs. reality, superheroes vs. heroes, and the role of fantasy and fiction in contemporary Paganism has been far more intense and ongoing  than I ever expected it to get. It has, however, brought up many good points, theories, and questions too. I was talking with Sannion  quite recently on this and as a result, we decided to make this the topic of discussion for the next Wyrd Ways Radio show, airing at 10pm this Wednesday (May 29). 

Sannion, who writes both here at Blurring Boundaries and at http://www.thehouseofvines.com, Wyrd Dottir, a Heathen working in the entertainment industry, as well as myself and my co-host Laura Patsouris will be discussing these issues with callers. We're going to open up the lines early and encourage folks to call in, regardless of your position on these issues. I'm looking forward to a very interesting and lively debate. 

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
Are the Norse Gods Racist?

Today I was chatting with my colleague Ochani Lele (who will be appearing on Wyrd Ways Radio on June 5), author of "Sacrificial Ceremonies of Santeria: A Complete Guide to the Rituals and Practices," "Diloggun Tales of the Natural World," and several other books.  We were discussing our respective Holy Powers when he asked me a question that made me stop and, after answering it, ask him if he'd mind me using it as a question here.   During the course of our conversation, he said to me: 

"You know . . . having Jewish blood, I've always been a bit afraid of Norse religion. Just out of curiosity, how do you think your gods would react to someone with Jewish blood taking up their worship? Would they respond? Would they accept? What about an African, or an African American? How would the Norse gods respond to such a person? Are they beyond racial boundaries, like the Orishas? I'm assuming they would be . . . but assumptions often get me in trouble. What are your thoughts on that?"

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  • wayne bates
    wayne bates says #
    Due to archaeological evidence , many scholars in the UK believe that the pagan Anglo-Saxon through their trade with the British
  • Alfar
    Alfar says #
    I will not debate this issue, and I myself am no raving racist. However, I believe we are being simplistic when we attempt to asse
  • Joseph Bloch
    Joseph Bloch says #
    Fortunately, mainstream Asatru largely addressed these issues years ago, with the general consensus that "folkish" is not, in fact
General Deity Questions, Fandom Gone Wrong, and "Pray, Forrest, Pray!"

 

Well, the school term is finally, officially over, I've submitted my last essay exam, and now I am free and clear as a bird, almost. I'm at least free and clear enough that I can catch up on some of the Odin and/or Deity questions that have accrued while i've been battling through finals the last two weeks. As I know i've noted before, I'm really enjoying the questions that are coming in. I think these are conversations we need to be having. Moreover, I"m forced to really engage with my own practice, and think and analyze what I do and how i approach my practice much more consciously and I think that's a good thing. Nothing in devotion should ever become so rote that we forget why we're doing it!

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  • Danielle Aubenque
    Danielle Aubenque says #
    Thank you for clearly articulating a struggle I have had for years. It gives me hope that I am not alone in my feelings toward the
  • Ainslie
    Ainslie says #
    I suspect Paganism is being used as "Atheism lite" by many people who really need to become Atheists.
  • Tim Schneider
    Tim Schneider says #
    For me this is pretty simple. It is about having standards, not being elitist or mean. It is about demanding respect for the God
  • Liza
    Liza says #
    First let me start by saying (in case this was not abundantly clear before) I do not think the Gods are fictional characters. Tha
  • Jennifer Lawrence
    Jennifer Lawrence says #
    >> I think there is a real discomfort in large swaths of the community with the idea of the Holy Powers as elder, independent, sen
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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  • 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

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