Solar Eclipse

With all the hoopla about the solar eclipse today (and the craziness that is going with it within the USA), I kind of started thinking about something on a random tangent. Once again, I’m totally into the history thing–obviously.

Eclipses were traditionally omens of sorts. I know, sometimes bad omens. Which I can kind of understand. I mean…it’s freaky weird today what with the sky suddenly getting darker, but the sun still out. It’s absolutely freaky looking, considering everything. And without the scientific knowledge we now have, I could totally understand how people hundreds of years ago would be totally spooked by the eclipse.

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Slavic Devotion (Part III)

How does one begin to build up a devotional practice with limited sources & options? That’s the million dollar question, really.

I’m not going to say I’m any kind of expert, because that would be a lie. But, I guess from a certain perspective I’ve got some real insight into it (which is weird, but kind of flattering for me). So we’ll dive into what I’ve been doing.

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Logistics of Devotion (Part II)

What are the logistics that go into devotional practice and work? (Continuing from Part I here) Obviously that’s going to change depending on which person you’re asking. For me, it’s a matter of delving in and really thinking about my own practice.

These are Jack of Wand’s questions to me:

  1. How often do I pray?
  2. What do my prayers look like?
  3. How often do I make offerings?
  4. Do I work with some gods more than others?
  5. Do I have a shrine? What does it look like?

So, let’s dive in! Continue reading “Logistics of Devotion (Part II)”

Devotion on the Blog (Part I)

Just what are the logistics behind devotion? I haven’t really talked a lot, specifically about my devotional beliefs…not really. I talk a lot of generics, a lot of technicalities. But not much about my own personal devotional work–those things I do when I’m worshiping and practicing alone.

I got this inspiration from Jack of Wands–since he asked a few good questions and made me realize I hadn’t actually done much talking about this before. Or at least, not about me specifically, and just what all this is for my practice and beliefs. So I’m going to delve in a bit deeper and talk a bit about my specific devotional work and practice. It should be a fun endeavor, and I think perhaps a nice change of pace.

Basics of Devotional Work

Just some ground-setting to start

Continue reading “Devotion on the Blog (Part I)”

What is Empathy?

You know how everyone & their mother claims they’re an Empath? I’ve legitimately never understood that. Not even way back when I was a “baby pagan” and so desperately trying to fit in. Just…pretending like I was super sensitive & able to sense other people’s emotions–it just was never going to be the case.

People like to claim stuff that makes them look good. I think that’s universal, regardless of background, religion, beliefs, culture…it seems like a human “universal constant”, if you will. And feeling other people’s emotions past the point of normal empathy–into the spectrum of being an empath–well, that’s just all sorts of good.

I’ve always been curious about the whole phenomenon. Admittedly in a type of detached, unaffected sort of way.

What really is an Empath?

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Familiar Spirit vs. Pet

Familiar Spirit vs. Pet

Onwards today with one of my major peeves. What’s something everyone associates with witches? (and therefore anyone who is remotely “witchy”) Well, usually a black cat, a rabbit, or something like a toad. Or at least, that’s what I always remember hearing about. It’s a bit cliché, to be honest–those are the stereotypes.

What is is, though, at the heart of the matter is a familiar.

So let’s get into it, just what is a familiar and how is it different then a pet. Continue reading “Familiar Spirit vs. Pet”

Chosen or Decided?

Just what goes into figuring out what pantheon to follow, what gods to worship, what spirits to work with? That’s something that everyone comes to differently, and I’m no fan of claiming any one method is better than the others. Each method has benefits and drawbacks, and each person has to do what works for them, with respect.

Which of course leads to the question:

Does one get chosen or does one decide?

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Modern Gods: Caffeine

Modern Gods: Caffeine

If there was ever a “modern” god that I would worship: it would be caffeine. There’s a whole host of reasons, but really–I think in some respects lots of people already do in a way worship caffeine. Not consciously, I would never say that, but in an unconscious kind of way.

I seriously love caffeine, and that’s no exaggeration on my feelings. It’s a wonderful thing that wakes me up, keeps me functioning, and has great medical use for me. Having caffeine keeps my migraines from hitting nearly as badly; and it also can help keep me from getting them. If I don’t have some caffeine in the morning, I get (at the very least) nasty headaches–at worst a full-blown migraine. So caffeine does have a sort of medical use for me.

That’s just the…more “mundane” sort of thing for myself though. Other people are different, and I admit there’s probably other points behind why I’m fond of caffeine. But that’s just the part of it, I mean…for all that it’s my own medical interest that compels me to drink caffeinated beverages (all hail tea); even I can admit that I recognize the ritualistic aspects of it.

Modern God

A modern god for the modern world

Let’s be honest, the most blatant thing most people consider a god:

something and/or someone (deity, entity, spirit) that is being worshiped.

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What is Double Faith?

Kind of an interesting question, depending on perspective. Because I’m sure there could be at least a dozen answers I could come up with–and that does not begin to count the answers other people could give at the exact same time. – and most of them are not the historical phenomenon I am actually talking about.

The historian and life-long student in me wants to pontificate on double faith; that being the particular manifestation of Orthodox Christianity that sprung up after the church swept through eastern Slavic lands and became the dominant religion of the ruling class. The rulers pushed their new holy religion on the masses, regardless of what the masses themselves believed or wanted. Rulers prerogative, as it were, of course.

Which led to a duality of belief that came down to us as a particular phenomenon in early modern Russian religious belief:

Dvoeverie – Double Faith

Just what is this?

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Hard vs. Soft

Which is always a rather fun debate and discussion among polytheists and pagans. I generally try to stay out of these types of debates, because while I much love a good debate, there are things like this where there’s just no “right” answer–and people get very…well, stubborn is perhaps a kind word to use, in their defense of position. Which I totally understand; as I am totally guilty of the same thing in my own turn. And while I love a good debate, there are just some things I have always decided are better not to jump into the melee for. And then there is also just, sometimes the lack of definitive “right” in a debate can be problematic just for the people involved.

This is one of those topics, because it really is a minefield sometimes. Not that I mean minefield in the sense of totally contentious, though it can be, but also just that it’s so fraught with so many perceptions, thoughts, beliefs and ideas that it can be difficult to even begin to reach an understanding on what is being discussed. And without a basic foundation assumption, real discussion and debate are fraught. That’s really all it boils down to.

But this is also a topic I like thinking about, so there’s that too.

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