[Friday] The New Year

Happy New Year.

The new year is a time for deciding changes and planning. Figuring out how our lives will now go. I don’t know how useful that all is, considering that resolutions usually end up broken. But I have always been a fan of planning. I approach the new energies of the year – coming from our culture rather, say, axial tilt – as a good time to think of what I want to do in the new year. Take away focus from what ‘must’ be done, mix the chores with the hobbies, and it all feels less like heavy resolutions settled upon my shoulders.

That said, I do have goals for the year.

I covered some of that in another post. This year I will be working on the Pagan Experience project again, hopefully with more luck than I held last year. The ‘Basics’ pages for the Dierne, Laethelia, and Ophelene will be finished (the Darren and Liathane are just too new to have useful ‘basics’ pages). There will be more holy days post, which fell off in the middle of the year, and more information on the spiritual-magical component in the Otherfaith. Which isn’t to say that all of this will come out rapidly, but I do plan for consistency.

Near the middle of this month (around the 15th), I’ll be posting a checklist of writing and projects that need to be worked on or completed this year. This way people can see what needs to be done and get active if they wish. I’ll update the list as necessary, but I want it easily accessible so people can decide what they want to work on. If nothing interests you, you can always start your own projects! I strongly encourage you to pursue what interests you.

As noted in the earlier post, I will be putting out a book later this year: The Beginning Otherfaith. The title may change. It will focus on the basic beginning practices of the Otherfaith as well as theology and belief. It won’t be ‘complete’ by any means. There will also be an Otherfaith podcast. It will focus on storytelling within the Otherfaith and hopefully include read-aloud stories that people have written. I haven’t done much of any audio work before, so it will be an adventure (for me and everyone listening).

I wish I could say that I had spent Reunion piously in front of my shrines. I wish I could say that I even did much of anything. I didn’t. Life has changed for me. It is not that I am no longer religious. It is that there’s no longer that openness within myself. There are hints of fear. Fear of being seen as silly or too faithful. The fear that other polytheists will look down on me for saying that is still here, of course, but ultimately it is much more difficult living with this tension inside myself. The new year – and New Year’s Eve – is about the tension between the self-that-we-are and the self-we-want-to-be. And I constantly live trying to balance out the parts of myself. Religious, fannish, spirit wife, human wife, frustrated artist, even more frustrated critic.

I did have breakthroughs during Reunion. Ava Laetha, who I view as an antagonist in my spiritual practice, and I had a moment of connection unlike that we hold the rest of the year. Even when I’m not doing as much as I would like, I still learn the spirits.

I want to leave with a quote from Jenn’s latest post (at my time of writing):

I don’t know why, but I was also sort of daydreaming about what Reunion would be like if we ever can have an in-person gathering. Like, if we somehow end up close enough that we could meet in person, what would we do for Reunion?

I think the big gatherings would be at the start and end of Reunion. Probably on the 23rd for the beginning, or whatever day is convenient (I celebrate Christmas but I don’t know about my fellow <Otherpeople, so as with all things it would just depend) but I don’t think it would be like a ritual or a typical neopagan gathering. We would do some sort of religious holiday observance–prayers, maybe a ritualized activity but not a big thing–but I mostly see it as being just a nice gathering of people with food and socialization, all in the name of our gods. And pretty much the same for the end of Reunion, I think.

Thank you for reading. ‘Of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist god religion. We are supported through Patreon and want to give special thanks to our patron Jack at Drawing Stars. If you enjoy the writing here, consider becoming a patron!

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