30 Days of Paganism, 3 – Beliefs: Deities

Ah, a nice non-controversial one!

I’ve talked about deities before, in many places on my blog. I’ve talked about my view of the gods as literal spirits whom I believe were worshiped by my ancestors. There’s no real need for me to outline my beliefs on this in detail again. But I wanted to reflect a bit more on what this means for me on a practical level – and what it doesn’t mean. Continue reading

Piety

Well, this seems as good a time as any to start gathering my thoughts on Piety. It’s another of those ADF virtues that we’re asked to consider during the Dedicant Path year. It’s also something that there’s been a lot of talk about on the internet recently, at least in Pagan and polytheist circles. To a very tedious degree. If there’s one thing I’m sure of, it’s that – however you want to worship the gods (or honour the earth or pursue spirituality) – we are currently boring the pants off the deities. I can just see the great Powers That Be now, sitting on Mount Olympus/in Asgard/under the Irish sidhe mounds/in the heavens, rolling their eyes at their devotees who are going ON AND ON about what Piety is or is not. And maybe the pantheons are having an argument about whose worshippers are the most boring. Or telling jokes to lighten the mood. Lugh, Thor and Athena walk into a bar…

So now that I’ve got that out of my system, I’m going to talk about Piety. Continue reading

H is for… Healing (Etiquette)

I study healing and disability for a living (actually, mostly for student debt, but you know what I mean). If I ever finish my PhD, it will be about ideologies of disability, and normalcy, and about how Christianity has treated those who are different (physically and mentally) through the ages.

And modern Paganism has absorbed a lot of this ideology, without realising that it’s rooted in Christianity. I’ve experienced this imposition of normalcy from society, including from the Pagan community. I’ve lost count of the number of people who were praying for me to be “healed”, and of those who were “doing healing” on me – often without my permission. Why does this matter? For a couple of reasons. Continue reading

H is for… Hearth

I have no great envy for the hearth witches and other hearth-focused Pagans out there. I never wanted to be the housewife at the hearth, knitting, cooking, baking bread. I may lean towards Celtic reconstructionism, but I wouldn’t want to be an iron age Gaelic woman. Oh, the boredom! Continue reading

G is for… Gobnait

This is sort of part two of the story that I started to tell in the post B is for… Bhéarra. If you haven’t read that, start there. (Or don’t. See if I care!)

St Gobnait’s well – one of two at the site

Second well

The second holy well

If you ever get the chance to visit St Gobnait’s two holy wells, nestled into the hills in south-west Ireland, beneath the Paps of Anu, GO THERE. It’s one of those places where the Otherworld is so close you can almost touch it.

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D is for… Deities: Defining the Divine

Disclaimer: This post is about my experiences. I sometimes have difficulty communicating the idea that I’m talking about *me* alone, and not trying to universalize any of my ideas. But this post is just about me. Me me me. Got that? Good. :P
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I’m a polytheist. I actually believe that the gods exist. Really and truly, and outside of our minds, and everything.

Why yes, I am that naive. ;)

cailleach bhearra

Cailleach Bhearra, as imagined by the Irish Film Board.[1]

Continue reading