Guest Article on faith and the holy

My friend Raven wrote this, a meditation with Shiva on one of the spiritual reasons why this restoration is such a struggle sometimes. I have no relationship devotionally with Shiva (save respect from afar). Occasionally I’ll give some sweets to Ganesh because I like Him but that’s about it insofar as my relationship to the Hindu Deities go. I have no devotional experience to confirm or deny this with Shiva but this rung true for me on a gut, visceral level and it made me very, very sad. You see, I knew one of these holy women once, (she has since died), and there has  never been a time before or since when the work has seemed so vibrant, rooted, connected, and true. It’s food for thought at any rate. 

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Posted on March 10, 2016, in Polytheism, theology, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 7 Comments.

  1. As with you, a “gut level” response was true, especially “who just radiates all the time. Not to do, just to be. Hollowed out by the Gods and filled with Light.” And later “is not in their teaching…”

    Light bearers, trust carriers…

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  2. It’s certainly food for thought…

    I have three caveats/questions, though:

    1) On neopaganism not being Shiva’s religion, and therefore not His responsibility: well, there are more neopagans (and polytheists) who call upon Shiva on at least a yearly basis than there are neopagans (and polytheists) who call upon Hel and Antinous combined on a yearly basis, so I don’t know if that’s necessarily accurate. If a religion has a particular Deity in it, while that Deity may not be said to “own” the religion, nonetheless, that Deity has a stake in it.

    2) Raven only asked about neopaganism, and got the answer that he did. He didn’t ask about polytheism, i.e. those who may not identify with the pagan or neopagan labels or those movements. So, I wonder if a few folks I know might be exceptions.

    3) And, Shiva’s response said “holy men and women.” It said nothing, however, of those who are neither men nor women.

    Thus, as true and important as this message is, and as important as this is to think about as an issue for further and future development and hoped-for results, at the same time, it doesn’t exclude the possibility that some of these individuals might be out there right now, and that some of the specific terminology used may simply mean people aren’t looking in the right places to find such people. (Though there was that part about being publicly known, too…so, likely as not, anyone who is in any fashion “known” is probably excluded.)

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    • 3) And, Shiva’s response said “holy men and women.” It said nothing, however, of those who are neither men nor women.

      Maybe it’s me and I have my struggles with gender identity, but does it really mater?

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      • Considering that Hinduism does have categories that exist outside of the strict gender binary, that Shiva did not mention others would have to matter.

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      • Further, it was Shiva’s mixed-gender form which answered Raven’s questions, so the specificity of “men and women” (which is specific and only includes those of a binary gender) rather than “people” (which would be all-inclusive) is highly suggestive that looking in the gaps between, beyond, and amidst binary genders might be where some of these holy people may be found. (And given that Raven has spoken before about being THE shaman for third-gendered people, it’s a hat that he doesn’t get to take off, either…so again, the specificity is noteworthy.)

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  3. Excellent article.

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  4. ganglerisgrove

    Raven doesn’t spend much time online but after reading these comments, he asked me to post the following:

    “This is Raven, responding to the comments. No, Shiva was not excepting people who don’t identify as Pagans, because the image I sent him included the whole bloody lot of us ancient-Western-religion-derived people, and the image that was sent back included them, too. No, Shiva was not excepting third gender people; the use of “men and women” was *my fault*. I did not think to specify every gender in the initial scribbling down of the post. If Ardhanarisvara was excepting third gender people, S/He would have made that clear to me. I am 100% sure of that.

    And while it was *not* made clear as to whether there were any of these people in existence, it *was* made clear that having such individuals publicly known as … talismans? … to be reverenced, and accepted as such by at least a significant percentage of the faith(s), was somehow important. No, I do not know what exact percentage. But way more than a handful of people.

    I did not originally intend for this essay to be publicly posted (I did so at Galina’s request), and I did not check it over for the three million ways it could be misinterpreted, which was my fault. My apologies. I will have to think of how it can be rewritten for more clarity. Thank you for pointing out places where I did not make things clear enough. It’s hard to recount divine messages and remember all the details that others didn’t see. Also, I do not require anyone else to agree with this message. It’s just one piece of writing about the experience of one guy. For all I know, the message was only for me.”

    personally i think the response rather proves the point of the message and I told Raven so. –GK

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