Be Careful The Advice You Take
When you are contacting someone for religious advice, for advice on how to do polytheism well, for advice about your Gods, resources, or anything else for that matter, regardless of what bona fides that person has or says that they have online, you need to consider the nature of what you’re told, and where that advice will ultimately take you.
If the person you contact is suggesting things that would draw you away from the Gods, that would cause you to prioritize other things, that would cause you to avoid the development of spiritual virtues, that would limit your devotion, or even that would pull you away from venerating a particular Deity for any reason whatsoever, think twice.
Just because someone claims to be an expert doesn’t mean they are. Look to the results of what you’re being told. Will it make you a better devotee of your Gods, a better human being, more devout? Will it cultivate piety? Will it help you approach your Gods more mindfully, more cleanly? Or are you being given advice to ignore those things, to take the easy way out, to do what feels good to you – regardless of whether it is useful in your devotion and development or not? Will it enhance your understanding and practice of your tradition, or not?
I think that we are meant to be people of worth before our Gods. We are meant to develop within ourselves the habits and character that will allow us to honor Them rightly and well. I very strongly believe the Gods want us to be healthy human beings, spiritually, emotionally, intellectually, and insofar as is possible (because bodies suck lol) physically and the key to that is centering oneself in the ancient contracts of honoring our Gods, our ancestors, and the land. I believe it is through our devotion that we become fully realized human beings and honoring our Gods fervently is good and right and true. I believe that the problems that arise are often due to a disjunction between proper devotion, a worldview steeped in piety, and the degradation and emptiness of our modern, anti-theistic world.
Nothing, not politics, opinions, personal differences and divides should impact the answer to the only question that matters: will what you’re being told increase your capacity to love the Gods even more? Will it make you better in your devotion or not? You don’t have to like the person who is giving you advice – this is not about us after all. It’s about building our traditions and getting better at honoring the Gods and if someone’s advice helps me do that, I will heed it. Personalities and politics are pointless in the face of that. So, consider your priorities and maybe allow for the remarkable thought that your Gods may not share them.
Posted on February 28, 2019, in community, devotional work, Lived Polytheism, theology, Uncategorized and tagged Community, devotion, Lived Polytheism, theology. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.
Your advice is sound, Galina, and for the most part the reason why I prefer to go directly to the Gods myself. When I am out of touch with Them, I am even more out of touch with what leads me toward a life of devotion and integrity. Just having come out of a two-day period of that, I have cleansed my altar room, and sat in devotion and tended my altars today. It makes a heck of a difference to my inner life, and my ability to carry on as a human being. Thank you for this good post.
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I respect the elders of our traditions but ANYONE can go off the rails and lose their way. In the end, nothing replaces that one on one with the Gods.
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Gotta say, I am morbidly curious about what incident inspired this post.
so many things.
Once you’ve been around the community long enough, you’ve seen it all. But within at least Northern Tradition polytheism/heathenry there’s a pervasive attitude in soe sections of that community that giving offerings investing in devotion to the Gods is a waste of time, they prioritize modern day social interactions over being in right relationship with the Gods, vaettir and ancestors.
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