Alright, so the title is a weird one. I admittedly wasn’t quite sure how to title this. But, it’s also pretty accurate. At least in my personal practice.
I’ve mentioned before how I am not really connected to the “female” aspect of deities out there. I mean, it’s not intentional, but it just kind of has evolved into a long-standing practice of mine. I generally don’t “connect” well with goddesses. Never have. Not back when I was trying to do the whole “Celtic” thing, not during the brief period I was thinking I should follow Norse or Greek gods. I’ve just never connected with goddesses.
So, go figure that the one goddess mentioned in Vladimir’s pantheon (The Primary Chronicle as source)–and I have literally no connection to her.
Continue reading “No Love for Mokosh”
In the past, I’ve had run ins with other Slavic pagans or Rodnovers. Most of it on Facebook or Tumblr. That’s pretty much par for the course. And I’ve done some extensive chronicling on it, so there’s lots related to read up on. I won’t rehash it all. Besides, that would make boring reading, when I’ve got a new topic to cover.
But! One of my few friends in real life (i.e. offline) who knows that I’m a Slavic polytheist is also aware of one particular “Rodnover” that I’ve had some run-ins with on Facebook before. So, when he–my friend–saw something interesting, he shot me a message as a heads up.
I have no intention of naming the subject of this “interesting” message. Free publicity is not something I’m offering up. Besides, anyone even tangentially familiar with the online Slavic pagan community should recognize who it is, most likely. But I’m not giving them any free clicks or points towards their pages. That’s just not something I’m going to do.
Continue reading “Old “Friends” Now Blogging”
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.
Continue reading “Slavic Devotion (Part III)”
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:
- How often do I pray?
- What do my prayers look like?
- How often do I make offerings?
- Do I work with some gods more than others?
- Do I have a shrine? What does it look like?
So, let’s dive in! Continue reading “Logistics of Devotion (Part II)”
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)”
Guys, I made a huge mistake. Like…monumental stupid mistake on my part. So I’m suffering for it, but I suppose that’s just part of what happens when I decided to try a “2nd chance” as it were for a Slavic pagan group on Facebook. (I’m beating myself up for attempting it–obviously)
Basically, I really should have known better; but sometimes you just try to be optimistic & try to give another shot to a thing. Because really? Everyone can’t have turned out like fucking lemmings. But oh, yes. They can.
And I should really know better. But I was trying to be optimistic. I mean, I want to have a real-life community I can connect with. That’s only natural. And having like-spiritual people to communicate with is just natural to want. So I’m giving myself a bit of leeway on how I gave it another shot.
But here’s the result:
Continue reading “Mistakes & Lemmings”
My family likes to joke that I have a problem…namely I’m a huge “cat lady”. Personally I fail to see this as a problem, but it does make for a funny joke. And there’s no lie–I love cats; of all sorts. So my family gave me a little challenge, and I’m actually laughing at it now. Because they asked me to check just how many photos of cats I have (excluding my Rose–because I have hundreds of her). So here’s a little mosaic of some of my favorite cat photos: Continue reading “On Cats & My Spirituality”
Throughout the last few years (especially the last year to be specific) I’ve posted some of my struggles with the online Slavic pagan and Rodnovery community. I’ve also posted some troubles I’ve had with the broader pagan community. But that’s easier to fix. See, I’ve got a few good groups I’m part of online that are “pagan” and dedicated to ethical, smart, resourced and intellectual conversation, research and practice. So it’s easy to isolate myself from most of the more…less savory aspects of the broader community. I can choose to stay out of groups that are problematic, and still get resources and new knowledge from others.
That’s just not possible when it comes to Slavic paganism. There’s a few good reasons for this, but it’s also a huge ethical dilemma for me. Because I hate sanctioning or even being tangentially related to oppression, bigotry, xenophobia or discrimination. And so there comes my latest issue and a lot of thinking that I’ve been doing over the last few months.
Continue reading “Ethical Dilemmas and a Choice”
Back in late autumn/October 2011, when I was living in Freiburg, me and three other classmates went on a trip to Basel, Switzerland for a weekend getaway. For us this was supposed to be hostel-staying, playing games & drinking with other college kids/teens from across Europe who were staying there, walking along the river in Basel, and just general good fun in visiting the expensive neighbor-country. So…normal college kid stuff, of course.
As usual for tourists & Americans abroad, we were all taking twenty-billion photos of everything around us and just trying to take it all in. Though to be fair, Europeans do far more “tourist photo taking” than Americans really do. Europe is so gorgeous that everyone takes photos everywhere. And somewhere along the line of our wandering the city and looking at different old buildings, we managed to end up along some little Gasse (small side street, really). So we’re walking along, going up and down the hills in the city, and we come across that sign. Continue reading “Herbarium & Snakes”
Being part of a “diaspora” and lacking the native resources and sources can be very difficult at times. Figure it out that, to start with, one is removed from the modern culture, people, traditions and folklore; then also, in a lot of cases, the family that came from the original country is either long-gone, unable to remember (they might have been children coming over), or just unwilling to discuss such things. So one is cut off from the intimate knowledge of more distant past and knowledge. Sure, one can look up historical documents, can read surveys and academic accounts–also one can always read blogs or posts or articles by those who still live in the home country/region. But that is intrinsically very different than growing up within the culture.
Take my family as example. My family that comes from Slavic countries–they were my great-grandparents and back (great-greats, and great-great-greats in some cases). These people are long dead, so I cannot ask them directly for information. Family records are sketchy, that is just how it goes with my family and in general records from eastern countries are more difficult than say England or France or even Germany. And the few family members left alive who are old enough to have known my great-great-greats, etc and so on, are all old, far removed from me + out of touch with the family; and most commonly, the family who might have known such things are all dead.
So my resources to get first hand or even second-hand family information are slim. It’s difficult for me to get information from the family; and even if there were more alive, I know how my family was, from the stories I have learned from my remaining family. The family all kicked back our origin and worked hard to totally assimilate. Which I understand, I do. But that complicates all issues for me in trying to build that connection. It’s a type of thing to deal with when your family has left the “Old Country” and has gone somewhere else to start over and rebuild.
Being in a diaspora can be difficult. Because you’re cut off. And in certain communities it is very difficult to continue learning when those who still remain on the Old Country are vehemently against sharing information. Or the ever more fun situation–your family’s country of origin has few to no resources translated into languages accessible to outsiders. I am lucky in one respect–I speak a 2nd language. But my knowledge of German is far better for strict historical research and knowledge of eastern Europe; for spiritual beliefs and needs, I really need to learn a Slavic language. But that is difficult when time and resources are limited. So it is a struggle to access resources that otherwise would make practice far easier.
There are true benefits to growing up inside the culture/beliefs that you follow. Continue reading “Diaspora & Information”