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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
A Devotional Polytheist Meme

While interfaith discussion with neo-pagans is valuable, I'd personally like to see more discussion of our own traditions and religious praxis. So, I came up with a bunch of questions to get the ball rolling. I'm going to answer these over the course of this month via a series of posts here and anyone else who likes them is also free to participate. 

 

1. What wealth have the divinities brought into your life?

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Posted by on in Paths Blogs
More Devotional Q&A

 

It's been a crazy couple of weeks, folks, with lots of ritual work to be done as we move into fall. While we always honor our ancestors at the beginning of our rituals, autumn tends to be a a time when we focus even more strongly on our dead and that means a lot more rituals. I love it, but boy have I been busy!  Autumn really is, for me, the best season. It's so vibrant and finally after an entire summer of positively aching for fall, i've started smelling the teasing promise of crispness in the air, the faint sense of crisping decay as the leaves ever so slightly show the first signs of their inevitable decay. I love it. Of course, I also love that questions on ritual and praxis keep rolling in. I've gotten quite a bit of good feedback on this series and I'm enjoying it greatly. Y'all have been sending in some really thoughtful questions and I find crafting my answers makes me look at my own practice in new ways too. I thank you, my readers for that gift. For today's Q&A, I have a series of questions on how to handle offerings from reader Lenore. 

 

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  • Natasha Kostich
    Natasha Kostich says #
    Good questions! I also want to add that the more you do altar work the more confident you become. As time goes on, you will trust
  • Terence P Ward
    Terence P Ward says #
    Rather than being inane, Lenore's questions are probably among the first anyone has! As I read your answers, I found myself addin

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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  • 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
Yet Another Round of Odin Questions

 

People seem to be enjoying the Odin questions that I"ve been answering here. I'm happy to keep this Q&A series going as long as folks have questions. Many of these things, while I've thought about them and internalized them, I've never actually broken down and analyzed for anyone else, so this is making me look at my experience and my practices and the way i interact with the Gods in new ways too and that's useful to praxis. 

On that note, Liza asks: 

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  • Liza
    Liza says #
    Thank you for answering my questions here. I think that sometimes these are the things that people just don't talk about in genera
  • Galina Krasskova
    Galina Krasskova says #
    Christine, I am glad this article was able to help. I know that when I went through my first fallow period with Odin it was withou
  • Christine L Berger
    Christine L Berger says #
    Galina, thank you so much for this post. I am six months into the fallow period after last summer which was the period of intimat
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. 

Visions from Afar asks: 

"Where is the line between pride (we're Norse, and we're expected to have pride in accomplishments and ourselves, right?), and disrespectful arrogance/impiety? I ask because more than once He's called me "quite rude"."

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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

 

 

Continuing my thread of answering reader questions, today I'm going to be tackling a rather interesting question from Christopher who asks: 

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Another Question on Piety from a Reader

 

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

"Why do you think humans bicker so much about the "right way" of pleasing the Gods (through ritual, devotional practice, etc.)? Is it because the Gods (in their mysterious ways) ask something different of each person, and sometimes what they ask and expect of one person is the complete opposite of that of another person? Or is it rather the result of human arrogance and ego? I feel it can be both, but having no experience really with spirit work and what it's like to carry out these duties, I'm not really sure. "

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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
  • Candi
    Candi 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

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. 

 

Liza: For the newbie, young's, seeker without a physical community to lead them, how do you suggest they start? (Though I suspect I know this answer in part, I think it bears repeating)

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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

Yesterday, I got a wonderful e-mail from a reader of Baring the Aegis, who came here through the Pagan Blog Project. Many who participate in the project are some form of Wiccan or witch--the writer herself included. The writer told me about reading this blog with only a Wiccan mindset to rely upon, and asked me the following question:

"How does Hellenistic worship work in a group? Is it more like a circle with equal participants sharing tasks, or is it more like a congregational model we know from most Christian churches with one or a few priests in front performing the rites and the rest of the participants witnessing without performing tasks of their own? Or is it completely different?"


Because I write with Hellenists in mind, I realize I don't often make comparissons between Hellenismos and other religions or Traditions. Her questions are therefor absolutely logical. For those of you who also came here from a non-Hellenistic, or non-Recon path, I wanted to share my answer to her with you, just to see if I can clear up some confusion.

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This is going to be a fairly short and sweet post. I’ve been getting the same question via email again and again –and it’s a good question, don’t’ get me wrong---so I figure I should probably answer it. Lately everyone is asking me what to do with offerings be it to the ancestors, the Gods, or the house spirits once you’ve put them out.  

It really is a good question the answer to which I tend to take for granted as a given. It’s not though and since most of us don’t grow up (yet) in families that make regular offerings, there’s no reason that we should automatically know what to do with them. There’s so much about religious traditions and culture that we learn by observation, experience, and osmosis as we grow after all, and we’re not yet at that point as a community. I think in time we will be, but for now, thank the Gods for books, blogs, and teachers!

That being said, here’s what I was taught about disposing of offerings.  Ideally, one can do any of the following:

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  • Anomalous Thracian
    Anomalous Thracian says #
    Very good topic, Galina. I like how you point out the practicality of these practices -- that is essential. "Tradition serves life

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