Might As Well End the Year Just Like It Was Begun

Predictably Patheos Pagan is on a roll again. If you want to learn how to do any type of polytheism poorly head right on over. I’m still shaking my head at what was read to me this morning. Apparently, people are freaking out because some polytheists (iirc, the conversation is about Celtic polytheism, but Heathenry was mentioned too) choose to A) honor Gods of multiple traditions or B) NOT honor Gods of multiple traditions. If you do B, you’re a racist (and maybe acting like the Heathens do! *gasp*) and if you do A, you’re doing it wrong, or some such. The lack of logic, sense, and piety gets kind of hard to follow sometimes. 

Get ready to have your minds blown, folks: either one can be proper and pious. Either one. It depends on the devotee, the Gods, their wyrd, their tradition, and any number of things. This is between the individual devotee and his or her Gods, and any sensible polytheist would get his butt to a good diviner, preferably one within his tradition (who is therefore familiar with that person’s primary Deities) to find out what his Gods want, if his can’t sort it himself. You’re not racist if you choose to only honor one particular pantheon (and unless that pantheon is Germanic, it doesn’t make you Heathen. Know what? Being Heathen is not synonymous with being racist either, and it’s just flat out hate-speech to claim otherwise). You’re not a bad polytheist if you honor more than one pantheon. Actually, the latter is probably closer to what many ancient polytheisms looked like. 

Here’s the thing, and if this bunch actually read books, studied history and theology, and had one wit of sense among them, they’d know this: there was hardly ever any expectation of exclusivity in pre-Christian religion. One honored one’s household and ancestral Gods, the Gods of one’s city or town, and was free to initiate into any mystery cultus he or she wished that would take them (just because we might want initiation, doesn’t mean we are owed access after all). If one did not wish, that was fine too. There are a lot of problems we face as modern polytheists working to restore our respective traditions. This bitch ain’t one of them. It shouldn’t be one of them, and really, there are better things to do than invent problems. 

My caveat, and I say this working in a blended tradition, is that each family of Deities should be honored according to Their own customs. I would not advise mixing and matching ritual styles. That’s a matter of politeness and respect. Our polytheistic ancestors crossed pantheons all the time. Here again though, if there is any confusion, an elder, priest, spirit worker, or diviner can help you sort it out. If you are called to honor only one pantheon, that doesn’t mean you’re not hearing your Gods rightly (yes, this was one of the comments made on Patheos: if you honor certain Gods exclusively, you’re not hearing Them). There could be reasons you can’t even comprehend for why They might put that restriction on you, and it’s hubris for some pissant second rate blogger over at Patheos, or anywhere else,  to imply that it is hateful or wrong. Likewise honoring across pantheons. 

You can find a million reasons not to do devotion but in the end it’s a choice. Every choice creates opportunities and closes off others. We have to work that out – in fear and fucking trembling – with ourselves and more importantly with and before our Gods. You know who doesn’t count in this equation? Some blogger on the internet whom you will never meet, and whose opinion matters to no one. 

About ganglerisgrove

Galina Krasskova has been a Heathen priest since 1995. She holds a Masters in Religious Studies (2009), a Masters in Medieval Studies (2019), has done extensive graduate work in Classics including teaching Latin, Roman History, and Greek and Roman Literature for the better part of a decade, and is currently pursuing a PhD in Theology. She is the managing editor of Walking the Worlds journal and has written over thirty books on Heathenry and Polytheism including "A Modern Guide to Heathenry" and "He is Frenzy: Collected Writings about Odin." In addition to her religious work, she is an accomplished artist who has shown all over the world and she currently runs a prayer card project available at wyrdcuriosities.etsy.com.

Posted on December 28, 2020, in Celtic Things, community, devotional work, Heathenry, Interfaith, Lived Polytheism and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. Well, if I may offer more positive news…

    For the last couple of months I had been praying to Mani as I walked around outside collecting outdoor trash for a certain Retail giant, and afterwards I would let off steam by wishing out loud (overnights so no one heard), that I had a better, cleaner job.

    Almost one week before Solstice, I was fired and refused to hear anything I had to say no matter how polite I was to them (more than they deserved).

    Now, I had ordered a bone comb for my youngest brother for Christmas through Grimfrost(He loves history stuff and figured he’d like a comb for his beard his best feature imo). And a Mjolnir for myself (I chose a bronze version of one found in a silver horde on an island just off of Germany). I received both on Sunday the 20th (three days early than was projected). I had a job interview on the 21st which didn’t go anywhere (less pay and less hours and a bit farther away). So I decided to schedule a phone interview with a major security guard company. On the 22nd, I had the interview, I sent in some paperwork online and on the 24th, I was hired!

    Now I have my Orientation tomorrow morning at 8AM as a Security Guard. And I will have my mjolnir with me.

    Hail Mani! Hail Thor! And every God that was involved! Any ideas for Thanksgiving offerings?

    Liked by 3 people

    • oh that is lovely and thank you for sharing. I’m pretty conservative in my choices for offerings, so this is what works for me. I’ve found Mani to like whipped cream flavored vodka, also sambuca. Thor, I usually give a good whiskey or beer to. I sometimes cook full meals for Them, give pastries, etc. see what feels right and go with it. I have found libations of all type generally welcome.

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    • Da fuq?

      Seriously, we have evidence of blended traditions in antiquity.

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  2. That’s how these tin-pot dictators work. They make rules that make you look bad no matter which choice you make. My simple rule: when the game is rigged against you, ignore their rules or refuse to play.

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  3. My response to this would be to ask the blogger what they do in their own religious practices. If I’m doing it “wrong” then tell me how to do it “right” or leave me alone.

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  4. Patheos has replaced religion with social justice as a religion. They have been basically doing politics in religious drag. Eventually, they will have hollowed out their Neo-Paganism and will be left with simply social justice. That is the trend in Neo-Paganism these days not just in Patheos. The new religion is social justice politics. Then eventually, they will die away.

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    • Plus they were in recent years bought out by Beliefnet, which is owned and operated by a Christian Evangelical organization. And they definitely started interfering with their pagan writers. For more on that, read here: https://www.huffpost.com/entry/why-did-over-a-dozen-writers_b_14603506

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      • It runs deeper than that since Halstead, the author of the article, was going towards social justice before the buyout. In 2018, the writing of the article, the writers who left were chastising others for not being politically environmentally enough and that people should be a part of social movements such as anti-fascism and Black Lives Matter. This is a continuation of that trend with it moving with the election and anti-Trump writings.

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