Jumping off the Bandwagon

I’m going to mess around with PBP a little because we’re only two months away from 2014 and I still haven’t gone past G. Ruadhán talked about how not everybody is cut out for this kind of blogging, and I think he’s sort of right.

Apparently, I’m not very good with following established memes. Often, I feel constrained to think up of something to write about, and that usually means–for me–not being to write anything, at all. Despite being a detail-obsessive neat-freak with mild OCD, I don’t consider myself a very orderly writer. I’m really just here to share what I can, and I should be fine with that.  I’m going back to freestyle.

Anyway, I’m going to scramble the letters of the English alphabet with P immediately following G, only because I don’t want to back out of the project entirely. In spite of all that’s been said, I still like finishing what I’ve started (like how oaths need to be followed ’til their end). I may even consider modifying my EDP series into something more ‘fluid’. (Everyday Piety sounds like a more suitable tag! I might just do that.)

What’s going to come after P? Well, you’ll have to stick around to find out. (Or not. It’s entirely up to you.)

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EDP3: Honour the All-Gods

You don’t need to worship all of them (you can try, but I don’t think you can have any significantly meaningful relationship through that), however, you can honour them all.

Tess Dawson makes a good point about it in her post on piety. Piety most certainly involves respect and honour towards others’ gods as well as our own. That’s one of the beauties of polytheism, after all. Worship foreign gods? No problem, invite them over for supper!

Most people will tell you to start with only a few gods, and I don’t necessarily disagree with that advice (for most people, I would say the same), but honouring them all at once doesn’t seem such a bad idea, either. Our ancestors, in their childhood, were probably introduced to their gods as a whole before getting to know each of them. Maybe–just maybe–it could work for you, too.

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I’m not sure if there’s an historical precursor to this, whether within the ancient Mediterranean world or beyond, but I make it a point to honour the All-Gods (i.e. the Divine Assembly, the Divine Kindred, etc) at least once a month, usually on the ninth or on the full moon.

I name the ones that are commonly given cultus in my family, then followed by “and all the gods and goddesses my ancestors worshipped; the gods and goddesses of the Aegean and the Balkans, the seven hills of Rome, the Two Lands about the Nile, the white mountains of old Phoenicia, and all of Asia east of Hindustan”. Yeah, I’m wordy like that. Feel free to phrase your pantheonic hymns however you like.

By the way, Sannion has some very nice pantheonic hymns in his book Echoes of Alexandria. I highly recommend it!

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EDP2: Live An Honourable Life

Yes, you read that right. I consider it a devotional practice to act honourably. If it isn’t a part of your personal devotions yet, perhaps it’s about time that you did. What good are all our praises and sacrifices if we lived our lives dishonourably? If we treated each other like shite? If we tore other people down rather than creating more beauty with them in the name of our gods? We can disagree without being rude. We can be critical without being total douchebags.

Yes, I’m talking about all these personal attacks on some of the better people in the polytheistic pagan community. I talked about this briefly in the past, but it seems like the incessant bickering has only got worse. Sannion tells us that they’ve now began to attack Tess Dawson, too.

I don’t have a very large readership and I don’t normally involve myself in these online squabbles. I would rather post about my cultus and my gods, but I can’t help but feel bad.

We’ve had our Silent July. I think it’s about time our aggressors took time off the innernets, as well. Just a suggestion.

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EDP1: Make your first words be of praise

[To begin my Devotionals series “Establishing a Devotional Practice” (EDP), here’s “Make your first words be of praise“]

The very first thing I do when I wake up is to say a prayer. It could be a long hymn or a single sentence, it doesn’t matter. I face the east, lift up my hands to the sun, and praise the new day. Then, I proceed to the altar and greet our household gods. (Note that this is before anything else, even breakfast or checking my phone.)

I’ve read it somewhere that this seems to be what the ancient Romans (or at least their heads of the household) did, too.

Not an actual picture of my morning view, but I wish it were

Not an actual picture of my morning view, but I wish it were

Although not a traditional Hellenistic hymn, I’ve grown fond of Sigrdrífa’s prayer (a hymn that I’ve memorised from the days when I was more German than Greek), so this is what I normally recite at the beginning of each day:

Hail to you, Day!
Hail to you, Day’s sons!
Hail to you, Night
and you, daughters of Night!
Look on us here
with loving eyes,
and give victory to those seated.

Hail to the Gods!
Hail to the Goddesses!
Hail to you, bountiful Earth!
Give to us wisdom
and goodly speech,
and healing hands in this life.

It’s a beautiful prayer, Heathen or not, and it’s always started my day ‘right’. Whatever your religio-cultural inclinations are, may your first words be of praise.

sigrdrifa