Archive for January, 2016
I use this WordPress site as a website as well as a blog to organize useful information. But since most people mainly access it as a blog, I’ve taken to making the would-be web-pages as posts, then linking relevant ones together. Anyhow, I’ve changed the Celtic Polytheist Resources page to be nested in with a general Polytheist/Pagan resources page. One of my co-religionists is working on a Guide to Gaelic Polytheism resources blog, which she is looking for contributions to. The difference between my stuff and hers is we sometimes choose different resources to link to. Yes, it’s mostly links and book lists rather than original research, I’d rather not re-invent the wheel, especially when other folks have access to better research libraries than I do! I’m more interested in writing articles on my various specialty interests- adapting practices to modern, urban American settings, disability issues and so forth. I have also removed the page of Calls for Submissions for Pagan/polytheist/occult-related books, as I just haven’t been getting as many of them, but I did find a Facebook group dedicated to the subject, and will post updates of interest when I come across them. I have also added an FAQ page, which is still a work in progress.
Diversity-Friendly Heathen & Asatru Links
Articles (Scholarly/Works Cited)
The Irish War Goddesses by Saigh Kym Lambert
Fulacht na Morrigna (the Morrigan’s cooking hearth) by Morgan Daimler
Articles (Personal Insight/No Works Cited)
The Morrigan and Personal Sovereignty by Morgan Daimler
Ways to Feel More Connected to the Morrigan by Morgan Daimler
The Morrigan: Meeting the Great Queen by Morgan Daimler
Morrigan/Warrior Bibliography by Saigh Kym Lambert
Not Recommended Books-
Feast of the Morrigan by Christopher Penczak- review by Morgan Daimler
Groups/Organizations (Note: I have put the more general groups at the top and the more priestly/dedicated warrior ones towards the bottom)
Call of the Morrigan Community– For anyone who honors/worships the Morrigan in any of Her aspects
Clann na Morrigna– Facebook group for all genders dedicated to the Morrigan as warriors
Ban gaiscedach na Morrigna– Facebook group for women (trans-inclusive) dedicated to the Morrigan as warriors
Coru Cathubodua: A Morrigan Priesthood- accepts people of all genders who wish to dedicate themselves to Her service.
I have sections on my blogroll for Celtic/Druid and Germanic/Heathen, but the rest are blobbed together in Pagan & Polytheists. I’m renewing an interest in Greek & Roman stuff (back when I was more into Hellenic stuff, it was the heyday of Livejournal & Yahoo-groups.) Making note of what deities/cultus they focus on, location if known, and other spiritual interests. Please let me know if you want to be added. This list includes Hellenic polytheists & pagans of varying traditions, levels of reconstruction etc.
Ariadne in Exile– Aridela Pantherina, Bacchic Orphic tradition
Aspis of Ares– Pete, SE Michigan
Baring the Aegis– Elani Temperance in the Netherlands, Elaion member
Beloved in Light– Lykeia in Alaska- devotee of Apollon & Artemis, Shiva & Parvati
Bull-headed follower of a Bull God– ADF Dionysian
Drinking from the Cup of Life– Lon Sarver, Dionysian in Bay Area, CA
The Dionysian Artist– Australia
Hellenic Hearth– Lena, devotee of Hera & eclectic kitchen witch
House of Vines– Sannion, Magna Graecian Bacchic Orphism cultor
Magick from Scratch– Thenea, ceremonial magic/mysticism in Hellenic context- not Recon
The Minoan Path– Laura Perry
Mists to Open, Mists to Bind– Jan Avende, Hellenic Druid & ADF Priest
The Modern Hellenist– Alejandro, Boston, Mass.
Of Thespiae– Ruadhan J. McElroy, Ann Arbor Michigan, devotee of Eros, Boetian focus, hedonist philosophy
Necropolis Now– Caroline Tully, Ph.D candidate at the Centre for Classics & Archaeology at the U of Melbourne, Australia (Greek, Egyptian and other content)
Never Unmindful– Alexei, local focus, social justice
Queen without a Court– Apollon devotee
Soul Bites– Mysticism & Craft
Strip Me Back to the Bone– Jolene, Poseidon devotee
Temple of Athena the Savior– Amanda Artemisia Forrester, Greco-Egyptian Pagan, Alexandrian witch, homesteader & templekeeper
True Pagan Warrior– T.P. Ward, devotee of Poseidon & Ares, Friend/Quaker
Under Two Trees– Mestizo paganism in multi-cultural, post-colonial Manila, Phillipines, Greco-Roman focus with indigenous Filipino, Hindu, Buddhist and other influences
Tumblogs– Gah! why does this have to be pink text on white background?
Elaion– Quite active!
Halls of Hera– Dedicated to the worship & study of Hera- Oakland, CA
Hellenion– U.S. based, mostly online
Hellenic Round Table– Discuss monthly topics with other Hellenists!
Neokoroi (Still active?)
Neos Alexandria– Greco-Roman-Egyptian syncretism
Pandemos– San Francisco Bay area collective of practitioners from diverse backgrounds, approaches and communities, united for the purpose of honoring the Hellenic gods and celebrating Hellenic culture.
Archived Blogs (Year of last post listed)
Boukoleon– 2015 Starry Bull Thiasos- Magna Graecian (southern Italian Greek colonies) Orphic Dionysian cultus
Flaming Thyrsos– 2014 Kenn, in Coventry, UK , a devotee of Hekate, Dionysos & Prometheus
Frankincense & wine– 2015, British, interested in lay monasticism
Hestian Lily– 2014 Lily, a devotee of Hestia & witch
Smoke from the Temple– 2014
Sightless Among Miracles (2013) , and Executive Pagan– Erik Dutton’s blogs- Longtime online acquaintance- from back in the days of Beliefnet Pagan forae- he was one of the people that came up with the idea of Religio Americana
Tending the Hearth of the Gods– 2013 Nom de Internet: Patch
Obey the Gods– 2013
Aithaloeis Theos– 2012 A space dedicated to Hephaistos
Pagan Reveries– 2012- some good stuff about poet ancestors/heroes
A Twisted Kind of Ingenue– 2012-Had to add this one after seeing this on about page: The ingenue is most interested in disability rights, the autism acceptance movement, anti-kyriarchy (the patriarchy is so passe), trans rights and acceptance, neurodiversity, young adult literature, simple living, paganism, fusion and tribal bellydance and avoiding medical bills.
Memories of Pain & Light– 2011
Next in Approaching Paganism- Vocational Paths: Warrior
Also a response in part to Allec’s Thoughts on the Warrior’s Path, what does that mean, how does one define it?
As with elder, I think this needs be a role defined by specific cultural traditions and organizations. If you feel a calling to a warrior path, in what context will you walk that path? Which community, tradition, deity etc. will you do warrior work for, and what does that entail? I am not a warrior myself, but even if I were, I still couldn’t answer those questions for you. Here are some factors to consider, as well as some ways different people and traditions define warriorship both in Greater Neo-Pagandom and broader U.S. society (I’m always interested in hearing about non-U.S. perspectives, just basing things on what I’m familiar with)
- Mundane/Paid Profession/Job/Career- a person who serves, has served, or plans to serve in the military, police, fire departments, emergency personnel (EMT, paramedic) park/forest ranger etc. Such a person may go into these fields as part of a spiritual calling, or discover/explore the spiritual dimensions after going into it.
- Practitioner, Teacher or Master of a particular martial arts form- it could be a hobby, a form of exercise and self-defense, various Asian martial arts traditions typically have some culturally-specific philosophical concepts involved, at least if they have haven’t been watered down into American Mixed Martial Arts…(Puke!)
- Devotee of a war-associated deity, hero(es), warrior/military dead- I know various people that have taken up martial arts and other forms of physical fitness as ways to connect with and serve a deity or spirit. Some, but not all of such folks identify as warriors, or as priests of the deity.
- Roles at rituals and festivals such as warding/guarding the edge of a ritual space, working security at a festival or other Pagan event, being an advocate of abuse victims/survivors in Pagan and broader communities.
Ethics & Norms to Consider-
- Are Peaceful/Spiritual Warriors a thing? Do nonviolent political activists count as warriors? This is debatable- I’d say be aware of what context you are in- Reclaiming Witches perhaps, Heathens/Asatruar, not so much.
- Gender- some people think warrior automatically means male, a rite of passage to manhood involves “becoming a warrior” and so forth. I also see the “strong woman equals warrior” meme among certain feminists, both religious & secular- or conversely “women should be/are inherently peaceful” among certain feminists and anti-feminists alike! Nope. People of any (or no) gender can be warriors, and people of particular genders *don’t have to be* warriors if that’s not their inclination.
- People in, or formerly in the careers discussed above may or may not identify as warriors in a spiritual sense. Calling someone by a label they don’t want is not “honoring” them. Being individual humans, they will have varying emotions and opinions about their experiences, please respect give space to them accordingly.
- Be careful about attaching cultural associations to “warrior” that are not yours or bringing them into the wrong cultural context. (E.g. would you wear your karate gear as ritual garb?)
- Historical re-enactment, role-playing games and the like are fun hobbies, but they are not necessarily part of your religion.
- Observe rules/laws at rituals, festivals and people’s homes about what (if at all) weapons are allowed, how they should be secured, children and pets as factors, etc.
- Being a warrior is not an excuse for being a bully, bad behavior etc. In fact, many warriors have codes of ethics that they strictly adhere to!
Part II will be links and commentary from people in various warrior traditions.
Diaspora is a Greek word meaning to scatter, usually referring to ethnic groups which have been scattered forcibly by expulsion, persecution, genocide and other not-fun thing humans do to each other. The most famous example which often gets the capital D is the Jewish Diaspora, the Irish and African diasporae are other well-known examples. A diasporan religion is one that is practiced around the world far from its origin- Judaism, once again, as well as African and Afro-Caribbean, Chinese folk religion, Shinto and Hinduism. How does the concept of diasporan religion work differently for broken traditions such as European polytheisms in the Americas, Australia et al.? It is tricky to call them “broken” per se, as there are folk customs of honoring land spirits, saint cults with possible pre-Christian roots and magical practices that have been carried across the oceans. Typically these have survived more strongly in rural areas, the Ozarks, Appalachia, Nova Scotia and Deitsch areas being good examples.
This is one of the difficulties of the Irish diaspora in the United States- a mostly rural people became one of the most urban. People even identify their origins by what city they are from- as I sometimes explain to folks that my father is “Philly Irish” (Philadelphia) rather than St. Paul Irish. Then of course we discuss what counties we know our ancestors came from. According to Wikipedia- in depth research I know- Philadelphia has the second largest Irish-American population, Boston being the first.
Like Sarenth discusses here (Broken Lines), there was very little in the way of ethnic cultural traditions that were passed down to me. Then again, I realize there was in way- this would make my father cringe but we are pretty culturally Anglo. It just tends to not be recognized as “ethnic” as its the Wonderbread of American culture (and German culture to some degree, just spell it Wunderbrod) And on the other side, various forms of resistance to dominant Anglo-American culture, including the assertion of Irish identity, trappings of hippie-dom and such. Perhaps it’s not surprising then, that I often find British Druids easier to get along with, while the few Irish-in Ireland people I encounter online seem a bit hostile to American Irish polytheists/pagans/New Agers being concerned that we don’t care about the living culture, only the old stones of the past, think Ireland is stuck in an endless time loop of the Quiet Man, and we made their lives suck by funding the Irish Republican Army. And using their culture to promote white supremacy. I understand and empathize with many of these concerns, except maybe the IRA one. WTF? Interesting essay about Irish assimilation here. I guess my dad’s take on Irish identity was the opposite of Sean Hannity & Bill O’Reilly- he saw supporting the Civil Rights movement as a moral duty- both as American citizens and in memory of the challenges our ancestors faced. It’s very interesting to compare the similarities and differences of these three diasporae, adding more in of course- I highly recommend Ronald Takaki’s book A Different Mirror: A History of Multicultural America, as well as PBS’ 3 documentaries- the Irish in America, Africans in America, and the Jews in America. There is also now one on Italians but I have not seen it yet, so I can’t vouch for its quality either way.
Interesting conversations happening…
“Basically: what’s with the tense, almost love/hate relationship between pagan clergy – to use this as a shorthand – and laity?
Why is it always clergy who talk about the importance of “hoeing onions”, or doing the proverbial gruntwork of being a lay follower?
Why do lay followers seem to glamorize clergy, and the responsibilities involved in occupying those positions, and rarely, if ever, speak of the merits of simply being laity?
I think it’s more complex than just being a case of the grass being greener on the other side, and actually has a lot to do with the concept of social capital.”
Thoughts on Clergy, Laity, Hierarchies & Roles in Polytheist Religions by Sarenth (a response)
I’ll re-iterate that I’m more of a fan of the concept of “general practitioners” vs. “spiritual specialists”. Both traditions I belong to, ADF and UU have formal clergy but very active laypeople, who frequently lead groups. My druid grove is a “haptocracy (hapto is one of the Greek verbs for ‘work’) – the theory that the people who are doing the greatest work to do something get the most say in it.”- concept coinage by Jenett Silver.
We should also think about the factor, that many people find in our religions ways to re-invent and express themselves in ways that they don’t have the opportunity to in broader society. How many people become herbal healers when they would never go to medical school, or scholars when even if they could get a Ph.D., there would be very few options for an academic career in religion, mythology or ancient history?
A third post related to this is by Allec, in which she discusses beginning a blog o’ resources on Gaelic Polytheism (yay!) and many people offered to help, then later questioned “Am I good enough/knowledgeable/experienced enough to help?”