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.