“Chosen by the Gods” A response

This evening, Galina posted another discourse that gave me some think thinks. Check her post (Chosen by the Gods) out for the background to this one. The post that I’m referring to here was elicited by an argument (her words) that she has with a colleague about why some people hear the Gods’ call more than others. One side says “nature” (predisposition) while the other says “nurture” (e.g. Training, hard work, and effort). Galina admits that the truth is probably somewhere between the two ends of that spectrum.

In my words, it sounds like the argument was going possibly well (though without likely accord) until the colleague got all “trigger” happy. My take on the topic follows below. Continue reading ““Chosen by the Gods” A response”

New books! New books!

Huzzah! Huzzah! New books have arrived!

The Amazon.com fairy stopped by our house today and dropped off two parcels: One solely for Kristen, and one for both of us, though mostly her.

Come inside and see what we’re reading!

Currently playing in iTunes: Singularity by Sabled Sun. Off of the album 2145.
[bandcamp width=100% height=120 album=947543277 size=large bgcol=ffffff linkcol=0687f5 tracklist=false artwork=small]

Continue reading “New books! New books!”

Where the gods are found

Source: Where the gods are found

I don’t currently see myself as a polytheist, but this is an interesting commentary about finding the spirit (Spirit) of place.  This is something that we have been discussing off and on over at the Order of Bards, Ovates, and Druids message board off and on for a while, as American Druids.  Several of us Americans have a feeling of being adrift, as so much of traditional and mythological Druidry is generally European and specifically Celtic and Gaulish.  In short, we (well, I, at least) can’t help but wonder how to be an American Druid, since us immigrants (as are all of us white folk, as opposed to First Nations/Native Americans) have families that look an awful lot like nomads, moving about the country and not having much of a “traditional family home” to look back on.

The end of a personal era

Today, I received my final installment of the OBOD Bardic course.  I didn’t realize that it was my last one when I opened the mailbox and smiled, but once I opened the envelope, it was clear.  I am left with something to ponder.

I started this course of home study some 10 years ago, in a different personal age, and as I was living a different “life.”  I understand that, during my long stints of absence, the course has gone through a re-write, so I have part of the old course and part of the new.  Without knowing the differences, I don’t find a disconnect between the two version-parts that I have.

As the OBOD courses are experiential in nature, I won’t discuss much about the teachings, but I don’t feel that I gained much from this segment of the studies, because it is so very much a study in fundamentals.  I came to the Bardic course with a strong basis in Paganism and other general spiritual studies.

That’s not to say that I feel that my time and money was wasted, because I don’t.  I learned a few things, and re-enforced my previous studies, and I looked at some of the material with new eyes.  I think that the course was well put together, but it wasn’t as in-depth as I would have liked (I like challenging material).  I am sharing the course with a friend of mine, and I believe that he will get some good out of it, as I think (i could be wrong) that his experiences are not as fundamental as mine are/were when I started.

I’ll be proceeding to the Ovate grade of the Order, I think.  This packet included some basic information about the Ovate studies, and they look like something that I would both enjoy and learn a good deal from.

The final step on the Bardic path is to write a review of the course material and my experiences with it.  That should make for an interesting retrospective, I think.

To dream an impossible dream…

Background: I have severe sleep apnea. Before I was diagnosed, I had gone some 20-30 years without dreaming. After getting a CPAP, I sleep fantastically and often dream. Sometimes I even remember them. Last night was one such night, but it made no logical sense. Kristen and Erik say it was “God shenanigans,” but I don’t necessarily agree.

Additional pertinent background: I graduated with a BA last year, after several failed and aborted attempts at higher education. It took me 20+ years.

This is what the dream was, at least as much of it as I can remember, 12-14 hours later. Continue reading “To dream an impossible dream…”

Western Hypocrites.

“We realise that people have been victimised by superstition so building mass awareness is critical” Yeah, your morel moral superiority is more important than native religions. Piker.

Trying to shake my own box.

I just read one of the longest blog posts of my life, over at Gangleri’s Grove: Devotion or “Psychotic Superstition”

I respect Galina, but don’t always agree (or even understand) her mindset.  To me, she’s something of a hardline Heathen, a steadfast polytheist who has strong (VERY strong!) opinions about the current state of the greater Pagan Community©.  She’s also an academic with no weak chops in religion.  I, on the other hand, claim both Buddhist and Druidic faith, and am currently only tentatively “theistic” in practice.  I blame that on my academic training and long-term mental health status.

The post that spawned this one is, frankly, upsetting, on a number of different levels.  I mean, how can one be both a pagan and an atheist?  IMO, not well.  And it’s an impossibility to be an atheists polytheist… The terms are diametrically opposed.  Atheists dispute the very existence of the divine, while polytheists acknowledge the existence of many gods.  This matches with Galina’s position against someone who was on her Facebook.  He was apparently dead-set on casting Heathenry as foolish, backward, and delusional.  Anybody who knows anything about Galina knows that she’s anything but a fool.

Long parts of the discussion between she and Jeff go back and forth, and Galina sums up thus:

Now i’m not posting this to bash Jeff. I”m posting it because everything he said are things that i’ve seen cropping up in the Pagan community and in Heathenry too (different parts at different times). It represents a mindset, a way of looking at the world that not only excludes the Gods but renders devotion to Them as psychosis. Is it any wonder that there is so much antagonism toward devotional work in Heathenry, or actual active belief in the Gods in Paganism? These things aren’t just words.

And…

THIS is a perfect example of the monotheistic filter at work. It’s a perfect example of what our contemporary culture teaches, what academia reinforces, and how we are all infected with a distrust of devotion. it’s there and it’s exchanges like this that make me see how deeply those anti-piety currents run. Perhaps this exchange with Jeff wasn’t one of my shining moments as a theologian. It is disheartening, however, to find these ideas ever present as we trudge forward in this work.

This is a large part of my situation right now.  I am a product of the Modern Mind and a patient in the mental health (such as it is) system in the USA.  I know that I used to touch the numinous, before I had a breakdown.  I know that I had a connection to The Divine©.  These days, though, I am tentative.  I am unsure.  I doubt myself, and my hold on sanity.  I am afraid that I might fall into actual, real, clinical psychosis.  On the flip-side of that coin, though, I desire numinous experience (yeah, don’t laugh about the Buddhist with attachment and desire. 😛 ).  I expect that there is more to this world and reality than science and rationality can explain or even experience.

Am I a polytheist?  Likely not, particularly with my Buddhist background (heavy monism, definition 1a).  I also claim pantheism as a self-description.  Be this as it may, I also currently chose to single out Hecate/Hekate for some small devotional work.  Currently, I am 99.99% certain that I’m not psychotic, due to my psychiatric medication regimen.  I am mostly glad that I don’t hear voices and feel that the Gods are talking to me.  Were it otherwise, I would severely doubt my sanity.

So where does that leave me? I’m still trying to figure that out.  Until I have certainty, I will depend on faith.

Fragile things

I need to absorb this a bit more deeply before I can make a cogent comment, but this is something I will need to get back to.

Sounds of the Planets

We talk about how universal entities vibrate at different frequencies.  Well, the folks over at NASA have recorded electromagnetic vibrations from various bodies in our Solar System, transcoded the recordings into the range of human hearing, and shared some of the results with us.

I’m particularly fond of Saturn, myself, but give a listen to more, including the Earth and the Sun!
[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sh2-P8hG5-E]