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receiving flak

January 5, 2014

I’m not the best at receiving criticism.  I admit that.  But it is even worse when the person criticizing me does it in a condescending manner.  I wrote about Eostre and I hesitated to write it because she is a heavily contested divinity.  Yet I promised to write about all the gods that were in the athiest’s “god graveyard”.  I wrote it from the angle of someone who believes this divinity exists despite the lack of scholarly details.  This is not a divinity that I honor and I have no bone to pick with whether she exists or not.  Her name was listed in the graveyard and there are people who currently honor her, that was enough for me.  So to be told that I was making “ASSumptions”, that I lack comprehension and the ability to use proper words, etc.  is quite infuriating.  I suggested this person write a blog refuting what I wrote and post it in the comments rather than bitch at me in a closed forum.  Only to be told that it wasn’t worth this person’s time.  [head/desk]  Very frustrating.

So it was nice to read this blog by Sannion:

“But where a lot of people get hung up, I think, is in the notion that there’s only one type of worship which is to be applied across the board to all manner of divine beings. Previously cultures had a much richer religious vocabulary than our own – even Catholics maintain a distinction between latria, dulia and hyperdulia, representing the differences between the worship appropriate to Mary, the saints, the sacraments, holy places etc. and that reserved exclusively for the Trinity. Instead of ‘worship’ think of it as ‘right relationship’. The right relationship you’re going to have with a mountain or a river is very different from what you’ll have with a deity or a hero. And as far as deities go you’ve got a whole range of them from the vast cosmic powers to door-hinge or hearth-gods to more familiar anthropomorphic entities. And sometimes gods can extend across these artificial boundaries…Now, the basis for having a right relationship with a divinity is respect – and that is owed to all of them simply because they exist. You don’t have to have history with them, you don’t have to necessarily like them, and you don’t have to carry out any sort of rituals honoring them but you should show them that essential respect because without it you’re in wrong relation to them. This respect is basically an acknowledgement of their existence and an absence of desire to see them harmed…Personally I think we should cultivate this attitude with regard to all things – including our fellow man – but it’s especially necessary with divinities.  Everything beyond that is optional…. My choices obviously cut off relations with other gods (like half of the Hellenic pantheon) but I’m not opposed to them in any way and gladly do what I can to help foster the revival of their worship. (I just think it’s something best left to other people.) There are a few I feel something almost like aversion for but I’ll never let it get to the point of actual hatred, because that just doesn’t seem like a very smart idea to me.”

This is pretty much how I feel, said much better than I could have said it and even some of it I haven’t even tried to put into words.  (It may be part of the solution I needed to get myself out of the pit I’ve stumbled into but that is another conversation.)  This person’s bone of contention was that I was encouraging people to honor someone that didn’t exist.  Yet I believe because there are people (and more than just a few) who honor this divinity then she exists and deserves my respect despite what is or is not written about her.  I do not feel called to honor her but then I don’t honor any of the Northern European Pantheon really as they do not call to me.  But come the spring equinox, I will honor Eos, or more likely Eos in Isis, as a way of marking the turning of the wheel of the year.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. January 5, 2014 2:54 PM

    very well said!


  2. naiadis permalink
    January 6, 2014 7:14 AM

    Argh. People are annoying at times. I’m sorry.For what it’s worth, we celebrate Ostara by honoring Bragi and Idunna in our household. We *have* honored Eostre — and I’ve read about how she “doesn’t exist” too, but, yeah. People worship her, and someone responds. maybe not always the same someone (but then again maybe?). I’m sort of in a place where I think the gods use which names suite them, and that they may not be as locked in to one particular name all of the time, if it suites them better. (Using tools that are available and all that.)


    • January 6, 2014 8:39 AM

      Thanks. That is a good of an explaination as any I’ve heard of late of how the gods work. I just have a hard time believing there are practically an unlimited number of gods. It makes more sense to me that there are a select number that answer to a large number of names.


      • naiadis permalink
        January 7, 2014 8:10 AM

        I go back and forth, whenever I leave my space of “He says He’s X, so it doesn’t really matter HOW He is X” center-point. I find the biggest comfort in thinking of it all as stories — these are all stories that we experience or tell ourselves or let others tell us to help us understand the world aroud us. But then, I’m a storyteller, so I *would* find comfrot i that. 🙂


        • January 7, 2014 8:53 AM

          For me it is a matter of finding (or re-finding) something that my logic track can live with…part of the reason I’m not a reconstructionist is I think deities are not static but grow and change just as anyone else does…so why shouldn’t the devotional practices that honor them grow and change? Be informed by the past, yes, but don’t try to live in it.


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