Like a two-year-old who’s just discovered the word, I ask “Why?” a lot. Why am I doing this? Why me? Why did I feel drawn to this path?
Some days, it’s “why do I even bother?”.
(I don’t like those days.)
This path isn’t easy. It’s even lonely, a lot of the time. Quite often I feel like I can’t talk to other people in my life about it, that I can’t share with them something that’s so important to me.
So why do I still walk it?
One of the main complaints I see in the tumblr pagan sphere is that people don’t practice discernment enough. Loki’s not really sitting on your couch watching Gossip Girl with you. Athena’s not really arguing about ice cream flavors to offer her. You’re making it up. Your discernment isn’t up to snuff. You need to verify.
Look, far be it from me to say that someone’s experiences are invalid. Who knows. Maybe some gods have stronger opinions about rocky road than others. I have no idea.
That said, I’ve found that practicing proper discernment can be beneficial. It’s not easy, and it involves…drumroll…MULTI-STEP VERIFICATION!
Oh look, another post in this general vein from me. I’m sure you’re all very surprised.
It’s rough, not being sure in your faith. Sometimes I wonder if I’m making it all up, and then I realize how insulting that is and I cringe. It’s so rude. Maybe if I doubt enough, the gods will give up on me. Maybe I can go back to being agnostic. It was so much easier. I didn’t have to deal with the hard questions, or with deities demanding tea, or feeling like I’ve let down anyone but myself on a daily basis.
But it’s not that easy.
Ah, tea! It’s not for everyone, I grant, but I love it. I’m not sure how or why I started enjoying tea, but I really, really do. It always calms me down and helps me find a spot of peace in my day. Doesn’t hurt that, in a pinch, it’s basically become my default offering for two of my deities and spirits.
I’m not exactly the poster child for blind faith. Far from it. I grew up two steps from atheism, and even dipped my toes into the nu-atheist sphere for a couple months (god, I was an insufferable thirteen-year-old). But one doesn’t need to be a Dawkins-level atheist, or even really an atheist at all, to look at some of the stuff going on in the pagan community and go “huh?”. Hell, I’ve been riding this train for three years and I still occasionally go “huh?” at some of the stuff I read.
(Questions, Pretending, Skepticism…gee willikers, does it look like I have a theme?) Read More…
One of the ways I connect best with my deities and spirits is by having regular or semiregular rituals. By “rituals” I don’t mean the whole call-the-quarters, set-the-circle deal – I mean something as simple as just taking a deep breath and talking.
“I HAVE SO MANY QUESTIONS.”
That phrase has become part of my standard vocabulary lately, usually regarding some aspect of fictional minutiae. (E.g., Shit Nobody Cares About related to obscure aspects of a show nobody watched.) It has also begun to make its way into my practice.
And that’s good, right? The strongest faith is supposed to be predicated on questions.
Naturally, these questions never have easy answers, if they have answers at all. Read More…