[Tuesday] ‘Polytheism’ Links

Silence Maestas wrote a wonderful and, I feel, hard-hitting piece about devotion and social justice. You can read that here.

Syren Nagakyrie, one of the organizers for Many Gods West 2016, wrote about building community. Her contributions to the plenary at the conference kept me engaged, though the entire plenary had me at the edge of my seat with interest. You can read her post here.

Leithin Cluan posted about miasma and spiritual pollution form a Gaelic polytheist perspective; the post can be found here.

Finally, Thenea of Magick from Scratch posted on the topic of ‘My Polytheism’ (which is also being used as a hashtag). You can read the post here. Though our gods are very different, and so our polytheisms are very different, the post is, as always, so enjoyable to read. I love seeing content like this in the pagan and polytheist blogosphere.

Go diversity!

For my own part, I have returned to work and attempted to fall into the mundane life post-conference. Once returning home I was rather overcome with the desire to have a space to sew, finally, and went out to purchase the table necessary for the space. I immediately used it as a puzzle table instead. A few projects I need to work on with regards to sewing are a purse, skirt, and bonnets. 

the Laetha Ava has been prevalent as of late, though in a much more restrained form than I have ever been used to. Whatever purpose she is serving appearing in my life as she does, I know it will eventually make sense. Perhaps three years from now. Maybe I am just radiating frustration enough that even this antagonist to myself wants me to simmer down. Seeing her and her dour face, I suspect that might be the case. She frowns and shakes her head – all of this interpretations of the feeling she brings to me – when she is near. I have the desire to impress. 

Children, and child gods, are hard to impress.

[Tuesday] Link Share

Links concerning the massacre in Orlando are below. If you would like a piece you have written to be included, you may comment or email.

Links from around the blogosphere:

Songs that have struck me this past week, for religious reasons and otherwise (can be found on Spotify or Youtube):

  • The Room Where It Happens (Hamilton)
  • Your Obedient Servant (Hamilton)
  • Wait for It (Hamilton)
  • Swan by Willa
  • People Watching by Air Traffic Controller
  • Hear the Bells by Naomi Scott
  • Lost in Thoughts All Alone by Adriana Figueroa
  • Lark of My Heart by Eliza Rickman
  • Bird in a Cage by SPELLES

[Monday] Idea of the Week

We had another G+ Hangout last Saturday – it was incredibly fun and we discussed a lot. Most of it was not directly related to the Otherfaith. We discussed everything from anime (CLAMP, Madoka, and Neon Genesis Evangelion) to activism and self care. We also touched on the ideas brought up last week. For those who want to write posts or discuss this further, I broke the post into simple questions. Elliot already wrote a response to the Monday post!

  • What does it mean to perform religion?
  • What is acting religiously?
  • How does performance factor in?
  • Is thought a religious act?
  • How do we stay active?
  • What are our social obligations (from religion)?
  • How do we change today?
  • How do we encourage devotion in each other and ourselves?
  • What words should we use?
  • What words should we avoid?
  • What does devotion look like in your life?

We’ll be holding another hangout this upcoming Saturday. If you cannot make our usual one, let me know what time works for you. Any additional hangouts will be starting in April if necessary. I’ll also be organizing a text-chat where we watch movies or shows together and then discuss our ideas, as well as how what we’ve watched can relate to the Otherfaith. This may begin in April or June, depending on scheduling on my part. If you’re interested in organizing this, let me know, but I understand that all of us are busy in our own ways!

I’m current rewriting The Red Room myth, as part of my acknowledging the murder of William. Originally, I had wanted the myth to be a dragging, horrific story, but I cut down my intended word count and went with the story that flowed easier. Of course, this means we don’t have any context for why Aletheia 003 leads his lover to death. Until that is done, I probably won’t be writing a lot about them.

For this week, I think one thing we should focus on is the upcoming celebration of Epiphany. Sage wrote about Epiphany last Friday. I myself have a small ceremony written for her. My religious practice has always been very plain. Candles, incense, water, maybe bread. I’ve a dislike for writing prayers and poetry, having always tended toward prose, so even the ‘prayers’ that I wrote were just statements, talking at the spirit known as Epiphany. I’ll be giving Epiphany incense and a white candle, and on the shrine for her I’ll be putting up images that represent Epiphany to me. I’ll also be putting a book on the shrine (A History of Reading – it was hard to resist a book that describes reading as ‘seduction…rebellion, and…obsession’). Maybe she’ll lend her spark to the stories I’m working on!

Epiphany is a spirit of connections, to me. She’s what inspired me to knowing of the Dierne as Pallis, as the beautiful star boy-god that he is. She inspired many of my understandings of the gods. Which is not to say that they are perfect or capital-c Correct, but that they were definitely inspired. So some things to consider this week as we think about Epiphany involve connections, unexpected connections. What leaps of faith or logic have you made in your life? What friendships or relationships in your life were unexpected but beneficial?

Another thing to contemplate is how your mind works. Epiphany, and other Book Keepers, have different ways of thinking. How do you think, what is your process? Related to this is what sort of environment is helpful to you, whether it is beneficial to your creativity or thought or just general emotional state. Are you, for example, sensitive to certain textures? Dislike or prefer certain smells? How does the external world affect your internal one?

I figured there could be some connections between Epiphany and our seventh god the Darren, so I asked Sage for some ideas. They brought up the good point that both the spirit and god are connected to flame – Epiphany with her immolation and the Darren with his molten core. Are these fires of inspiration? Or are they another sort of fire? What does the different type of fire mean? What does lava mean metaphorically and mythically compared to immolation?

Another connection Sage brought up dealt with struggles of shame and confidence. Epiphany has to navigate herself once she’s become herself; the Darren faces this as well. Both fall between two worlds, having to balance both. How do we balance sides of ourselves? Do we fall in-between spaces, and where do we? What sides of ourselves tug apart from each other, trying to tear us apart? And what do we hide from ourselves, what do we keep away, ashamed and afraid to look at it? Why are we afraid of it?

Confidence is not something inherent. Confident people are not always confident. Confidence involves both skill, repetition, and performance. Acting confident can help us become confident. Confidence is not something that can be simply scooped up or faked into reality, however. As we said during our hangout, changing and acting is a process. We have to work at it every day, and we also need safe spaces where we can fail or take breaks.

The idea of becoming someone else, becoming something new, is a concept that can be applied to the Darren and Epiphany both. And we can try to find who we were before – we may even be able to grasp that person – but eventually that will fade and we will be left with ourselves, as we are now, in this moment, before we fade again into who we are becoming. Guiding that process of becoming is hard, but if we are not conscious of it we can wake up one day and find ourselves not knowing anything of what person we are. The mirror becomes a stranger, and then we have all the work of becoming and unbecoming to do.

We can lose ourselves in other ways, of course. But even then, we have to work to know ourselves.

If you would like, join us next week for our hangout. It is video, voice, and text chat, whichever you are more comfortable using!

In some interesting links, there was a funeral for AIBO dogs that just breaks my heart while also being amazingly wonderful. And, as usual, there’s a great post on Magic from Scratch.

Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

[Monday] Idea of the Week

Happy Monday everyone. This past Saturday we had our first Otherfaith hangout on G+. Thanks to everyone who joined! I am planning on hosting hangouts every Saturday. We discussed a variety of things – the Darren and Ophelene, our Eighth unnamed god, and ‘doing the work’. It was brought up during our conversation that ‘doing the work’ is a rather misused phrase, however.

So, for this week, I want to suggest people contemplate what it means to perform religion. What does it mean to act religiously? How does performing and performance factor into religion? Is contemplation – or is any conscious thought process – a religious or devotional act?

Similar to a statement I posed during the hangout, how do we keep ourselves from falling into a trap of thinking that the gods, or someone else, will take care of our problems or fix the world? What obligations do we have, from our religion, to improving the world around us? How do we keep from assuming that a better world is found ‘tomorrow’ instead of making one ‘today’?

Relatedly, how do we encourage ourselves and others to take action without shaming or being condescending toward each other? In Managing Your Mind by Gillian Butler and Tony Hope, the authors discuss the uselessness of shaming or demeaning ourselves for our failings. Instead, they note throughout the book, it is important to make mistakes and learn from them (part of which requires a safe environment) and to encourage ourselves. That is what will cause us to develop better habits and behaviors.

I think a good closing question for this contemplation is what devotional action looks like in your life. Where you perform prayers, when you do, how often, etc. What do your rituals or ceremonies look like in terms of timing, actual actions, items required, etc.

Now, for our weekly link rush.

Elliot has posted an update on his shrine. Though my main shrine is pretty much set up exactly how I want it, I think it’s always good to adjust your shrine space to figure out what works best and what allows you to move easiest.

Fitting in nicely with this week’s focus, Jenn posted on her weekly devotions. She also has a very useful post on getting connected to your energetic tail. Check both out!

Adventures in Vanaheim has a review of a new book of fairy tales that has come out.

Merri-Todd over on Antinous for Everybody has posted a bunch of poems for the Tetrad++ and other deities. I recommend checking them, and P. Sufenas Virius Lupus’ poems, out.

Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

[Monday] Updates & Links

Happy Monday. Sorry for not getting last Wednesday’s post on initiatory orders up. That was for a variety of reasons. One – work means I didn’t have much time to write it! And second, I was brainstorming and discussing with others how the initiatory orders should work on this side of the fence. I’ve come to some conclusions at the moment, always subject to change with this growing little religion.

  • The initiatory orders (IO) will be for those pursuing very specific devotional relationships with the gods and spirits. We can only develop these as people are initiated by the spirits and eventually initiate others. One could only initiate into one god’s initiatory order.
  • We will also have devotional orders (DO). These will have various levels. People could explore each DO, as they would also serve the purpose of teaching people how to behave in devotional life with the Four/Four Gods.
  • Both IOs and DOs would have different levels of commitments. IOs base level would necessarily be a bit more serious, whereas DOs base level of commitment would be learning about the basic devotion to the gods. (It would, obviously, move up from there, from just ‘encouraged participation’ to ‘actual commitments and obligations’.)
  • DOs could be seen, simplistically, as a ‘less strict’ commitment than the IOs. DOs would focus more on group activities, outreach, teaching, and god-specific issues or hobbies. (For example, martial arts of some kind for the Ophelene’s.)

I want to encourage others to share their thoughts on this. This is how I conceive of these groups, but not how they have to be and likely not how they will remain.

The blogging schedule on this blog will be switched up somewhat going forward in 2015. This updated schedule will be posted on the blog schedule page.

  • Monday: Link Posts or Idea of the Week
  • Wednesdays: Rotating Schedule
    • First Wednesday: Holy Days
    • Second Wednesday: Basic Theology
    • Third Wednesday: Spiritual Theology
    • Fourth Wednesday: Actual Practices/Living (This is the revamped Hawthorne & Heather.)
  • Fridays: Sage
  • Sundays: Pagan Experience, except the last Sunday of the month

And now for our usual rush of links!

On Sunday, I posted up on canon and headcanon for the Pagan Experience. Last Friday, Sage posted the second part of their post on devotional styles.

Elliot has posted up more poetry – check out ’Our Dear Ophelia’, ’Darkened Depths’, and ’Inkbird’. Elliot has also moved into his new residence – congrats!

Caelesti has a posted up about fanfic and religion, a topic I of course unabashedly love.

Nicholas Haney posted on being, or not being, god-centric. Honestly, I would love to see some actual ideas of what this god-centric life would look like and what the term means. I hear it tossed around, along with some others, but don’t really see any useful definition. This is tied into some thoughts I had earlier this week, like what ‘complete devotion’ means, what it looks like, what it looks like in the context of having a job, how much of your budget is supposed to go to devotion, etc. He also wrote a follow up post to a response he received.

Jason Thomas Pitzl wrote a manifesto on Witchcraft that you should go read. It’s excellent and potent.

I recently read a piece on why ‘The Secret’ and its positive thinking is something you should probably avoid. I was recently looking for some books to help better understand personality and mood and help with life skills; I was lucky enough to pick up one that is actually based on psychology and effective methods rather than positive thinking. If you’re interested in why self-help and the positive thinking movement might not be that great, give that article a read.

On xoJane, K. Tempest Bradford wrote about foregoing books by white, straight, cismale authors for a year. On their own blog, Foz Meadows posted a breakdown of a reaction to Bradford’s piece. It’s a bit exhausting to read because of what Meadows is breaking down, but check it out if you’re interested.

On Magick from Scratch, there are two posts to check out: one on divine relationships and another which is a wonderful piece of poetry.

P. Sufenas Virius Lupus wrote for the birth of Panprosdexia, another piece worth checking out.

Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

[Monday] Assorted Links

Happy Monday! Last week of February, and I’m off to my job – I’ll already be working when this post goes up. Over the weekend I also got a sewing machine. It will be put to good use making cosplays and religious clothing. That means life will be a lot busier – thank goodness!

Later this week, I’ll be closing out the month with a post on the initiatory orders of the gods. If you have any questions about these, please send them to me or comment on this post, and I will try to cover them in the Wednesday post.

Pantheacon wrapped up this last weekend. I wasn’t there this year, though I might attend next year if life goes well. Rhyd Wildermuth has an interesting post about an experience at the con. There were a few problems at this years Pantheacon which, if you are interested, can be found through Google and The Wild Hunt.

On Magick from Scratch, there is a post on apotheosis and theological difficulties. The post focuses on a Hellenic perspective but is relevant to the Other People.

Anomalous Thracian writes about devotion and cigars. Worth a read.

Jenn writes another reflection on a myth. This time she focuses on the Book Hoarder. As always, these are worth checking out. In this post, she writes about eventually starting a series on ‘Connecting to the Spirit Body’ through movement. I am very much looking forward to this!

Elliot has published another poem, for the Ophelia. He is just recently moving, and I wish him luck as he adjusts!

Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

[Monday] Assorted Links

Happy Monday! One more week of freedom before I start work – meaning a lot more structure in my life. Today was spent rounding up the last of Valentine’s discount candy and cleaning. I spent Valentine’s Day itself running all over town for the local celebrations. Meanwhile, there was brainstorming and creative works happening in the Otherfaith. A clear sign things have changed, that I don’t have to instigate events like that! It’s really amazing to see that work happening, and it lends me faith.

Jenn has another write-up on a myth, this time focusing on the myth of Lilibell and Althea Altair. I posted up a small introductory post for Althea as well on Sunday. Jenn has also posted up prayers (Otherfaith and other). Her personal affirmation reminds me of prayers I’ve tinkered with for dedication/formal devotion ceremonies.

Sage wrote on devotion for Friday’s post. Please give it a read if you haven’t already!

On Opalfish, Elliot has written two new poems: Buried Blaze and Monster Mother, River Dweller.

Have a wonderful Monday!

Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

[Monday] Contemplation

Abel Blake is a strange spirit. The more distance I have from him (meaning journeying and direct interaction), the better I’ve come to understand him. Everything from his personality, his larger role in the West (and possibly the Otherfaith), his relationship with other spirits, and what he desires. He plays an important role in my own practice, but the intimacy I once felt with him has fizzled to a more typical professional-spiritual nature.

He’s part of a family of spirits (the Blakes) that are connected to larger spirits I’m writing about for the third week prompts of the Pagan Experience. The Blakes are tied to the line of Adilene through Adilene’s grandchild Alynah Blake, though its questionable whether Alynah was given the name or simply took it for herself. She was possibly given the name to tame her wild and destructive nature. The name may also be tied to her through her relationship with Abel, one we know as ‘Companionship’ in the Otherfaith.

Companionship is a difficult relationship to explain, though I have no doubt those who do work in our West will see it in play. Companionship is a relationship between giant spirits and other powerful, destructive entities. The giant spirit takes in the excess magical energies present in their partner, usually suffering some sort of reaction or backlash from the magic, and in doing level out their partner’s behavior and energy.

Abel and Alynah’s relationship confused me. Alynah is the destructive, cruel element between them. Abel seemed unnaturally unemotional. Plenty of the fire spirits in the Otherfaith are ‘unnaturally unemotional’, or emotional in ways that humans find difficult to understand. I understood, intellectually, that the two were in Companionship. There were just pieces that didn’t fit properly. The giant spirit (which Alynah is) is the receptive force. Alynah didn’t seem receptive to anything.

Their relationship was so hostile and confusing. But I pulled away from Abel, and the fog cleared.

The reason Abel was so unemotional was because of the Companionship he had with Alynah. Alynah was still her vicious, violent self – but as we ourselves tend to do, she was also another person when it came to Abel. And as I distanced myself from Abel it was easier to see him as a powerful spirit, albeit small.

All of this rambling ties into journeying, I suppose. When I was journeying with these spirits, I couldn’t grasp them entirely. I saw shards, or reflections, or masks.

I recently felt a bit of longing for the times when I would bury myself in the spirits’ world. I don’t feel less spiritual or religious now that I have largely dropped that practice. Not that I’m doing perfectly when it comes to offerings. Quite the contrary. But I am taking actions, religiously.

The longing to go back to how things ‘were’ eventually faded. Because what I have now is my actual practice, and my contemplation upon the spirits feels much stronger now.

Rather than rambling on more, here are some links of interest.

Jenn has another reading and re-reading post up, this time on the story of Epiphany. Give it a read, along with her posts on canon and devotional goals. I think her post on goals is a good example of how to go about setting them.

If you haven’t seen them, yesterday has a post on the earth in an Otherfaith context and Sage posted on Friday about canon.

There was semi-recently a post on artificial intelligence and religion. A number of people recommended I read it. I have to say I was ultimately underwhelmed – the strong Christian and monotheist focus made it uninspiring to me, sparing a few brief ideas. My own thoughts on AI, robots, androids, and spirituality are a messy complicated tapestry, strongly influenced by my polytheism and animism. The simplest way I can state my ideas – we shouldn’t try to convert AI. But I don’t think we should try to convert anyone.

(Today’s post is a fair bit later thanks to some personal commitments. Hopefully Wednesday’s post will be up in the morning!)

Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

[Monday] Assorted Links

Happy Monday everyone. I’m in my usual religious gear and will soon be making this week’s offerings. Afterward, I’ll be summarizing last month, parsing out its highlights and what I learned, and prepping myself for February.

Later this week will hopefully see a new installment of Hawthorne & Heather. The column has been monthly instead of twice a month, mostly because there wasn’t enough time or content. I’m hoping to change that. Next week we’ll have a post on possible February holy days.

As I mentioned in previous posts, this blog is being updated with prompts from the Pagan Experience project. I currently have three posts up. Week one focuses on resolutions, the second on books as religious tools, and the most recent week on humanity and personhood. I’m still working on week three’s post on divinities, though I will be focusing on spirits to help the Otherfaith build its knowledge of our spirits. As noted, I won’t be writing alphabet-based posts.

The ‘doorways’ prompt from the Cauldron Blog Project is being revised. It will be posted on the Otherfaith mythology page when finished.

There was recently a bit of community drama in the Otherfaith. It’s been resolved now, but it did help me realize where and how the faith should have structure. It was in general very illuminating on how I want the Otherfaith to serve its People.

Now, for more links.

Jenn has a few posts up. One touches on dance and physicality as a way to connect with the spirit body and spirituality. To which I say – yes! Starhawk’s excellent The Earth Path has a lot of good exercises for connecting with our body while we engage in spiritual practice. (My copy of that book is wrecked, with how much I’ve used it.) Jenn also posted a reflection on the Bone Box myth. It’s a complicated myth. I recommend reading her thoughts.

Elliot has posted some thoughts on the Ophelene. His comments on her serpentine imagery ties in with my view of her as a restorer of the decimated dragon population in the West. He also posted another update.

Milo of rotwork has organized a nonbinary mysteries roundtable. The first prompt is beginnings. Please check it out and contribute if it is relevant to you.

Fjothr has posted about some of their reading, and it relates in interesting ways to my own thoughts about personhood, objectification, and the state of our world.

Have a good week!

Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

[Monday] Assorted Links

I’ve been working on the ‘doorways’ story for the Cauldron Blog Project a little bit each day. Both the biggest aid and bane in writing the story as been Hozier’s ‘Take Me to Church’. When writing a spirit story, I inevitably need a song or album to listen to endlessly. The stories always feel more in-tune with the spirits that way. But they can hold me back, become distraction or influence a story to be more fluid than it should. It’s an awkward balancing act.

This Wednesday I will be posting up a new entry for the Hawthorne & Heather column, on a specific spirit I met earlier this month.

On another blog I’m going to be writing on The Pagan Experience prompts. If you’re interested in blog prompts and missing the old Pagan Blog Project, give the new one a look.

I have a few links to bring you today, most of them Otherfaith related. Enjoy!

If you didn’t see it earlier, Sage posted their introduction post last Friday. Please give them a warm welcome! They will be posting every, or every other, Friday, depending on their schedule.

Jenn, on her blog, wrote another reflection on a spirit, this time on Mallory. She also posted on preparing to honor spirits and the holy days. Like Jenn, I look forward to where the Otherfaith will go this year!

Elliot, on his Opalfish blog, has posted a few new poems. He has also posted an update, including his distance from the Laetha. My favorite poem of the bunch is this one.

Burning Heart Press has a call for submissions for queer and trans perspectives on Paganism and polytheism. You never know if your piece will be accepted so submit! It’s worth the risk and the bravery. Your voice deserves to be heard, after all.

That’s all for this Monday. See you next week!

Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

[Monday] Spirits of Consent & Links

For a while, Julian Betkowski (you can read his blog Eros is Eros is Eros here and his column on Polytheist.com here) has been writing, on Facebook and Ello, about consent in the context of gods, as well as virtue as it relates to the gods as well. His comments and writings are something I very much value (though I admit I can’t always keep up with them!). My experience in reading material offered for those who are bothered by spirits and gods is that I had to submit because they were gods. I think Julian is offering a lot of interesting and challenging ideas to that discourse.

I don’t wish to rehash or restate his ideas here – I am confident I would utterly and unintentionally misrepresent them. His comments about this issue have stirred my own mind, however.

The theology of the Otherfaith is very weak, at the moment. Beyond polytheism – a belief in many gods – we have little theology hammered out. One important part of our theology that I have not explored is dystheism. Dystheism is, essentially, the belief that gods are not wholly good, or perhaps even evil. It can be an argument against gods. In the context of the Otherfaith, dystheism deepens our understanding of the gods and establishes that the gods will not always do what is ‘right’ or ‘good’. Godhood itself is a complicated existence, and it is something I do not think I quite have a handle on. The best example we currently have in the Otherfaith of dystheism is the Laetha.

the Laetha is an incredibly violent deity in some of her forms. Unlike the Clarene or Ophelene, her violence is not tied to retribution or justice but bloodlust and madness. Part of the structure of the Otherfaith needs to include apotropaic offerings to this god, as she is not always intended to be called upon or held close to us. She can be pushy in her desires, and she has a hard time taking ‘no’ for an answer.

We do have the option to tell her no, though. In the Otherfaith, we can tell any of the gods no. We can decide we aren’t going to travel with them anymore. “Thanks for everything, I’m done now.” Some of the gods take this answer better than others. And in cases when the gods push again and again, there are spirits that can be called upon to aid a human in rejecting the gods.

One of these, likely the strongest and most preferable, is Adilene. Adilene is a lover of the Clarene. She bears many similarities to the Laetha – pale milk skin, endless flaming red hair, oddly glowing eyes. She is burned horribly by the Laetha and buried in the otherworldly forest in order to save her life, and this transforms her into a powerful restrictive force to the god. Adilene’s grandchild, Alynah Blake is also a restrictive force to the Laetha, but she brings a larger host of problems than her grandmother. Adilene is also a powerful force against the rest of the Four (+ Four) Gods, even going against her divine lover if she feels the god is attempting to override or coerce someone. She’s generally considered the patron of those who flee godly attention.

Another spirit associated with restraint and ‘leveling the field’ when it comes to god-human relations is Casimir. Himself caught between two much more powerful forces, Casimir has his power thrust upon him by his lover when the man summons a sacred weapon into Casimir’s body. Casimir, being unfortunately selfless and compassionate, transforms this energy into one of protection and defense. Where Adilene can be considered magically powerful, Casimir embodies physical strength and safety. He is sometimes considered to have been a human as well, so his preference for protecting human worshipers from gods may stem from this.

The other spirit that can help devotees establish fairer ground is Erann. Erann is more of a negotiator than the pure powerhouses of the other two spirits, and he is more neutrally aligned than the benevolent Casimir and Adilene. He is associated with shapeshifting and spying. Whereas Casimir and Adilene are focused on restraining gods, Erann is most adept at restraining other non-godly spirits. He is always willing to offer a helping hand to those who ask. He tends to make bargains and deals more than plain-faced aid. He’s best called upon and prayed to when a situation with a god or spirit needs to be worked through or worked around rather than stopped in its tracks.

In blog-keeping news, Sage will now be blogging for ‘of the Other People’! I’m so happy that Sage is contributing to this blog and adding their voice. More voices on the Otherfaith are always needed. They will be posting every (or every other) Friday. Look forward to their posts soon.

And now, for some links!

Jenn reflects on the myth of Lyra and the Ophelia’s Romance.

David Dashifen Kees has started a solo book club, and the first book he’s reading is A World Full of Gods. David is one of the coolest polytheists and Pagans around, though I’m completely biased in saying that.

Conor Davis has written a short poem worth a read.

In other news, Sarenth Odinsson has put out a devotional for ancestors. I recommend checking it out, as it has many different voices!

P. Sufenas Virius Lupus has a post on Set killing Apophis worth reading.

Celestine contemplates the afterlife, and the importance of this life.

Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

End of Reunion

Happy New Year and, for the Other People, happy end of Reunion! The end of Reunion can mean a few different things. The main change is that our taboo against argument and fighting is released.

For myself, the end of Reunion was when I had to cover the box I use as a small temple space. I’m not sure how long it will remain covered, so I will be performing quick one card draws each day to try to divine when the gods wish for it to be opened again. I also began wearing a veil in my spirit-spouse’s color. I will begin learning about his family for a week, and from there discern how my spirit-marriage effects my life. Though, truly, it is already effecting me.

I wish I could say that Reunion was joyful and easy, but I know it wasn’t. It wasn’t for individual members of the Other People and those who worship our gods. Nor was it an easy or joyful time in general. The death of Leelah Alcorn is just one example of how horrible and depressing and painful our world is right now. Leelah is a Sancta in the Ekklesia Antinoou – on one hand, may she be remembered. On the other, I can’t help but be hopelessly, rather ineffectually angry that such a young woman has died (or, as some have said, been killed).

Leelah’s death has made me consider adding some level of veneration for the dead to the Otherfaith, especially queer and gender variant dead. However, that is something that still needs to be discussed and figured out, and I don’t want to just jump into it. I also feel divination and discernment toward the dead being honored is important, and letting those who would rest actually rest is something I wish to respect if the People do begin such work.

As we go into this new year, the fifth for the Otherfaith, I want to create more actual practices – more prayers, actual rituals, shrine structures. Of course, deepening our understanding of the spirits and creating more stories for them is important, but the lack of practices for the Other People is a large hole that needs to be filled. I look forward to working on this.

We will be having a brainstorm session for what an introductory book for the People should look like on Skype. If you’re interested in participating, my Skype username is ainemaponos. You don’t have to be one of the People or worship our gods to contribute, so don’t be shy about joining!

To end this post, I’d like to share a variety of links of work that was produced during Reunion.

Between Ocean & Hills

A Prayer for Reunion
Reunion Day 1
Reunion Day 2 & 3
Untitled (Another Reunion Prayer)

Adventures of Opalfish

The Hermit-Maker: Paths of Integrity & Introspection (Intro)
the Darren and Justice (Intro)
the Darrenesque (Intro)
the Darren and Energy (Intro)
Reunion [Dec. 25, 2014]
Balance in Flux
Reunion [Dec. 26, 2014]
Reunion 2014/2015 Simple Prayer Cycle
The spirits walk among us
Blood like rubies
Doubt* & Drowning
Reunion shrine

Otherfaith Wiki

Spirit Groups
Spiritual Relationships
The West/Otherworld
Domains Forum Discussion
Ophelene headcanon Forum Discussion

Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

[Monday] Wiki Links

There have been numerous additions to the Otherfaith Wiki that you can check out. I’m posting links to the updated pages and new pages of information that have been posted.

First, all of the pages on the Four Gods have been updated with infoboxes – boxes on the side of every page with simply arranged information. You can look at the Four Gods page to find a link to all of their pages, or you can look at them individually starting with the Clarene. There is navigation on each of the god’s pages that will take you to the next (or previous) god. We also have a page for the new god the Darren, though it is currently very sparse.

the Laetha’s page has been updated with information about most of the named Laethas at this time. There is also a page for the Aletheia spirits that are connected to the Laetha.

If you’re interested in learning more about the spirits in the Otherfaith, you can check out our category page. It provides definitions for Greater, Lesser, and Smaller Spirits, as well as categories of spirits such as fire, giant, snow, and guardian (plus more). We also have a page explaining the basics of holy houses in the Otherfaith.

We have more information about the Other People’s otherworldly landscape on our Wiki as well. You can read about the West, or you can delve into more specific parts of the landscape.

We have full articles on what canon and headcanon mean in the Otherfaith, as well as ‘Divergence‘ or ‘conflicting belief’. If you’re interested in how beliefs come about in the Otherfaith or how conflicting beliefs might be dealt with, I recommend you read those pages.

And, in non-Wiki related links, Jenn has two Otherfaith-related posts up on Between Ocean and Hills. The first is Tarot, Gods, Life and the other is One Year in the Otherfaith.

Thank you for reading. ‘of the Other People’ is a site dedicated to the Otherfaith, a modern polytheist religion. You can find more about us here and here. You can contact us here if you have any questions or would like to get involved.

[Links] on Ferguson & Social Justice

There is much I could say about the cases in Ferguson and NYC in which cops were not indicted for killing black men. There is much I could say that has been said already, and what I say is simply more of the same outrage and sorrow – an outrage that, due to my white skin, is merely that. (I may protest and speak up as an ally, but an ally must also know that there are things we simply cannot comprehend, and we must remember that we are called allies because we support, not replace, the people affected by racism and violence and hatred. Solidarity, not white savior complexes.) But in keeping silent, especially here, may give the impression that I do not care, or that the Other People should not care about such social injustice, and I want to make it clear that is not the case.

Regardless of whether you think our gods care about social injustice or not (though I personally believe they do), the Other People do care, and it is my firm belief that our religion should be more than a comfort but a challenge. We should, in our religiousness and piety, challenge the structures of racism and oppression. We cannot sit idly by while injustice takes place. We must act, in the ways we can. We must work for justice, we must work for the horrors of our society to be brought to light and challenged until justice prevails. We may call upon our gods for help and aid, but at the end of the day we need to do this work because to do anything less is to condone violence and murder.

Rather than say anything more, I will link to a number of pieces written about these issues, and a few statements from Pagan groups.

Telling My Son About Ferguson

For Tamir, Who Was Stolen

An Open Letter to White America (includes more links)

White America has a problem, and that problem is ourselves.  

Our myopia, our lack of empathy, our inability to see the ways in which we live in arrogance, is literally killing people in the streets.

The Violence from Below

In short, you expect the oppressed, struggling, grieving, violated people to behave like saints and martyrs while fighting to survive. Resistance against violent oppression is grand and inspiring – so long as it’s genteel.

If Not Now? Pagan Leadership and Civil Rights

Solar Cross Stands For Justice