Four Gods Intros

Hello everyone! I’ve gotten a slow stream of followers over the past few months. I have some important updates.

First off, if you want to keep up with posts and new stuff in the Otherfaith, we’ve moved over to a new site: otherfaith.info. Go check out there! Our blog is a bit sparse, with an emphasis on music. But that’ll be changing.

The new Otherfaith site has forums and FAQs. Importantly! it also has some introductory posts for the first Four Gods. I encourage you to go over and read them. They’re meant to be good bite-sized articles for getting acquainted with the gods. The latter Four Gods’ articles will go live next Friday.

I’ll be updating this blog with links to the new site, but actual information will be hosted over on our dot info site. Feel free to follow us over there!

[Wednesday] Life Updates

Happy June. Here in Tucson, the days are hot and dry. We leave our house and enter into an oven. Unfortunately, the oven of the desert lacks the sweet smells of pastries, unlike the oven of our homes. The oven in our home is rather lacking in such pleasant scents, too. When I dare to go outside I can barely spare a thought for my surroundings. Years ago, in school, I could watch the seasons pass as the palo verde and mesquite bloomed and tossed away their flowers, soon growing heavy with seeds that scattered the ground and crunched underfoot. Now I drive to and fro, and my mind is more occupied with poorly behaving semi trucks than the beautiful trees surrounding me.

Beautiful and horridly allergy inducing.

Soon I will be flying up to Olympia, Washington for the second Many Gods West. My tickets for the room and hotel are booked. I’m quite excited to meet the other attendees, and I’m rather nervouus about presenting. Within this month and the next I will be printing up packets of information to take with me. These will simply be small writings on the Otherfaith, quite typical for what I tend to do. I feel, having had time to reflect on history and the gods and all of this mess of religion, they are better written and more tightly focused than previously.

Between planning for the conference and working, I write stories for the spirits. This year is not comparable to the heady, painful one of 2013, but the voices of the spirits are flowing well within my own. When I sit down to write with them the feeling is one of collaboration. I am easing into the prayers of the Four+ Gods again. Through bursts of discomfort and stinging longing, I am settling with the gods.

You would hardly know such from the state of my office.

On next Monday, I will be resuming posts linking to ongoings in the pagan and polytheist and assorted internet. In truth I had such a post written up for this past Wednesday, at the start of June, but hadn’t found time to properly format and schedule it. Life has a way, a way to interfere with every of my plans.

May June be less warm where you are, and thank you for reading.

[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!

[Wednesday] Return & Update

Happy December.

It has been a long time since I’ve posted here on the blog. That isn’t to say I haven’t been writing – I have – but much of it is either not ready for public viewing or is for the upcoming Otherfaith book. Apart from that, life itself has gotten in the way of writing more and being able to update the blog. This is the way things go sometimes.

But December has started up again and with it Reunion. The holy week of Reunion, December 25 to January 1 )technically ending once the sun rises on the New Year), is such a magical time. Truly magical, in the sense that energies are shifting and changing. As the second half of this year swung in, I began focusing on the magical and spiritual components of the Otherfaith. This includes things such as the spirit body, energy manipulation, energetic associations, all of that goodness.

Jenn wrote about Reunion on Between Ocean and Hills. What she describes – “Whatever block I was having is lifted and I’m ready to be back with them, and Reunion is going to be my chance to do that in a really meaningful way,” – is very much Reunion to me. At the beginning of this month I reunited with my spirit spouse who I had seen little of throughout the year. I could touch the energies of the gods like I hadn’t been able to. I felt, for the first time in a long time, at peace with these gods. December and Reunion are the opposite of Hell Month to me.

Reunion also involves the New Year. We’re going into 2016 and the sixth year of the Otherfaith. That’s humbling to me. This year has not be easy. But there is still the Otherfaith, and it is larger than myself. People still care about it. I hope as the year turns I can find more peace and gladness, more compassion and sweetness. I hope I can accept that people will come and go, people will come and stay, and there’s no way I can predict that. I can just give my best to the people who want to know more about the Otherfaith.

There will be more projects next year too. One, of course, is the Otherfaith book. It will likely be (self) published and available early summer, and I want to put out an audio version in winter of 2016. Another project is an Otherfaith podcast. To begin, the podcast will be a simple companion to the Otherfaith information available. I will cover our gods and spirits, any updates and new information, and progress from gods and spirits into the practical and spiritual aspects of the Otherfaith. I do hope to eventually have guests, but I don’t want to rush.

Audio content, beyond the podcast, will be coming to the Otherfaith. This is in a hope to make our content more accessible. If you have any recommendations, I am eager to hear them. I’ve never messed with audio before.

My Patreon will also be undergoing some changes. There will be some patron-locked content, but the majority of what I produce will be available to everyone. But as of 2016-on, patrons will have access to some content anywhere from two weeks to one month earlier. I will also be posting excerpts from old journals and elaborating on them, as patron-only content.

As I worked on the Otherfaith book during November, I realize how little leadership and organizational structure we have. Back when I was first crafting the Otherfaith, back when it went under different names, I had so many theories for organizing leadership and responsibility. Those all fell apart once faced with the immediate reality of dealing with people. That doesn’t mean it isn’t important though. So I brainstormed leadership ideas again and again in November, and that will be rolling out. I would really appreciate feedback on this. I will be posting about it once it’s hammered out better here, on Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr, anywhere I can. I want to know what people think, what people want from leadership, what they need. And what you absolutely don’t want as well.

This post is mostly to say that I’m back. I’m back from the rest of my life. This blog will resume. Writing will resume. And I hope that this Reunion and the New Year treats you all wonderfully.

As an important announcement: we have a 2016 formal Skype chat up for those who want to learn or re-introduce themselves to the Otherfaith. This chat will be held every weekend. This link will show you the time and date for your time zone. We will also be discussing community/organizational issues in the formal chat. If you would like to take part in the formal chat, please send me a message on Skype at ainemaponos.

We also have a less formal, general Otherfaith chat where anyone can chat anytime. You can join that by following this link, if you have Skype.

Hangouts, which we held a few times last year, will resume in 2016. We will have new rules for people who join in, though, and some of the Hangouts will be recorded to be put up on the Otherfaith Youtube channel. I will inform people well in advance if a Hangout will be recorded, though, and don’t feel that it is necessary to join one that will be.

Though I do hope to get up the rest of the basics post for the rest of the Four+ Gods in January, I will be moving coming late January. This may mean a week or two of silence on my part. But hopefully not, and until that date I plan to keep this blog active.

As always, thank you for reading. Be excellent to each other.


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 patrons Jack at Drawing Stars and Leithin Cluan at Treasure in Barren Places. If you enjoy the writing here, consider becoming a patron!

[Monday] Idea of the Week

Happy Monday. I hope August has treated everyone well. Today’s post focuses on fanfiction.

There is some housekeeping to share around the site. Our calendar page has moved under the ‘Devotional Life’ section and can now be found here. On our ’Reading & Resources’ page a number of articles have moved off to our wiki, mostly basic information that is better suited for the wiki.

Our ’Otherfaith Mythology’ page has undergone significant change. A number of myths were moved from this site off to Archive of Our Own(Ao3), a transformative works site. We have an official Otherfaith tag there as well, under ‘Otherfaith Religion & Lore’. As I moved my fanworks of the Four+ Gods and their spirits to the site, I added commentary and background information about them. Those with new commentary are linked below.

There have also been new stories posted to Ao3. I’ve noted the author along with the stories.

One reason I bring up fanfic, and why I’m moving my works onto Ao3, is to emphasize the importance that these works have within the Otherfaith. Of course more practical posts about the gods and the function of the religion are important as well. But stories are a love of mine, and I find them effective in conveying ideas. They’re also deliciously open for interpretation, more than a simple basic post on a god. Especially when spirits aren’t explicitly identified, people are left to decide which spirit it may be. And every choice, every naming, reflect something about that person and about the spirits.

Another reason I’m moving my own stories onto Ao3 is because I consider my own works fanfic of the gods. I feel that the Other People’s understandings of the gods need to be felt out through our stories, and I’m no longer comfortable establishing my own stories as the Legitimate Canon. There’s better methods to arrive at religious canon. No doubt the stories I have created and experienced influence my understandings of the Four+ Gods and that shows through in the more authoritative posts on them. I can’t disconnect it entirely. And some stories have ‘stuck’ at this point, simply because they’ve been around and I’ve been telling them and I considered them canon before I began shifting my approach to my own work.

Considering my own work fanfic has given me more freedom than I once had. There is far less pressure upon myself to get the story ‘right’ or to completely finish the story. There are many, many stories that I’ve written that haven’t seen public view due to being uncompleted or not as honed as I would prefer. Framing them as fanfic – something I consider much more ‘in process’ that other works, though this is not a viewpoint shared by other fanfic writers – enables me to consider sharing them. It eases my anxieties toward religious storytelling.

It has also changed my approach to spirit interaction and ‘otherworld journeying’ (a term which I am less fond of every day and wish to find a replacement for). That aspect of my practice has a large component of experiencing various stories about the spirits, as well as engaging with my personal spirits. There is constant tension in my explorations of Western Fairy between my honest/raw experience and resisting Spiritual Grandstanding, becoming a farce of myself or Mary Sue. I’ve chopped myself out of stories where I was a participant because I didn’t want people to confuse the spirits with me. Yet some stories are not able to be told when I chop myself out. I stick my fingers in places they shouldn’t be, seeking honey and often simply getting bit.

I was, at one point, far more open about my explorations than I am at present. It attracted attention I eventually found toxic and degrading. There was more freedom to it, an openness that I haven’t achieved again. Talking with friends has made me (re)consider the usefulness of sharing more ‘direct’ experiences with my gods and spirits, though I still wobble back and forth. Considering the stories I experience fanfiction makes them, by their nature, more personal than before. Though I still question how far my spiritual self should intersect.

Seeing other people’s writings within the context of the Otherfaith has made me more confident in sharing my own more intimate stories, though. The intersection with Self and Story is inevitable. We bleed into our writings, our sharings. There’s no getting around it.

There’s no perfect story.


Over on Drawing Stars, Jack has been writing on his gods and spirits. I recommend checking out the stories there.

On Magick From Scratch, Thenea has been blogging about unifying divine aspects. The first post is here and the second can be found here. A quote from the latter:

…the person with the best sense of what is hurting you is you, and deities often deal in broad brush strokes. If we want to pursue healthy spirituality, we need to be active participants in our relationships with deities, tell them what we need, and let them know what hurts.

Here is an excellent piece on why internet bullies don’t know you – and all their insults are just meant to get you to shut up. Considering some recent behavior I’ve seen, I think it’s a good thing to remember. (And for people to remember that insults from our friends tend to hurt a lot worse, so try to be kind.)

Within the wider online community, we’re often able to treat each other badly because we dehumanize them, or at best devalue them. Sadly, dehumanizing is sometimes one of the few responses to someone being senselessly cruel or degrading – to treat them as human would to be acknowledge that someone that is like you is trying to hurt you. And often in our little ‘blogosphere’, that hurt tends to come down because, as the above article says, we want someone to cry and shut up. We have an incredibly inability to handle boundaries as well, sometimes mistaking those for telling someone to shut up. And sometimes we just get carried away with our online persona and forget that we make liars of ourselves in doing so.


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 patrons Jack at Drawing Stars and Leithin Cluan at Treasure in Barren Places. If you enjoy the writing here, consider becoming a patron!

[Wednesday] Basics: the Clarene

Both here and on it’s own separate page, I’m posting up a basic overview post for the Clarene. The Four Gods page will also be updated, to reflect our growing family of gods and the information we have about them. You can expect posts like this, in this format, for the rest of the Four/Four Gods. A format like this will also be used for the spirits of the Otherfaith. Along with this, there is a glossary in the works that will be going up soon. There are a lot of terms in the faith that can get confusing very fast, so a glossary should help.

Happy Wednesday!


Overview

  • Name: the Clarene (or, alternatively, Claire Clarice Clarene)
  • Main Epithet: the King
  • Domain: Sovereignty
  • Placement: First
  • Color: Black
  • Symbol: Compass Rose
  • Element: Earth
  • Sacred Weapon: Noir or Staff of Foundation
  • House: Hale
  • Court: Black
  • Order: Vivant

Origins

the Clarene was the last of the first Four Gods to reveal herself. Associated with Kingship and commitment, she was the final piece to beginning the Otherfaith properly as its own religious tradition. She was originally associated with greenery and the wilds. This has since changed, through better understanding, to a god of farmland and orchards.

She claims to either have been born or joined the human world around the 1300’s. She associates herself with the Black Death, in time period. The stories she tells detail a fair amount of time spent in the human world cavorting with humanity before finally founding the otherworldly West. She has an affection for both Germany and France and will speak both languages – it is possible she originated from around the regions.

Mythically, she was born to a general, unnamed Fairy Queen, likely without a father involved. Her confrontations with her mother lead her to leaving her fairy home for other sights. She took a variety of lady lovers and has a noted preference for them. Stories surrounding human spirits who fall into the West usually involve some sacred or fairy item the Clarene had left during her travels.

She eventually settled, in part, around the Appalachian Mountain Range before claiming Seattle as one of her sacred cities.

Appearance

the Clarene’s most common appearance is that of a tall, dark-skinned woman. She bears horns, often of a ram, and wears prosthetic legs carved from wood. Her hair is wild and endless and bears a resemblance to a starry night sky. She is of a regal bearing and face. Unlike most of the other Four Gods, she has long, pointed ears. Her eyes are usually a solid black. Her clothing tends toward minimal or nude.

In some variations, she is freckled and takes on reddish hues. Her hair is occasionally braided.

When appearing as Claire, she is gangly and long-limbed, though still bearing prosthetics. She is rosy-cheeked and often dressed in frills and elegant gowns. She is notably thinner in this form, likely due to her power being sapped and/or stolen by her mother. She does not bear weaponry or fangs as Claire. She lacks horns in this form.

As Clarice, she is taller and usually darker in tone. Her hair is tied back into thick braids or designs, and small horns sprout from her head. She may appear atop a horse or as a centaur, though the latter is rare. She takes on more martial symbols in this form, largely swords, spears, and war banners. She is accompanied by a large host of horses, dogs, and fairies. She has a larger presence in this manifestation than as Claire, though as she is still pre-King, she does not bear the prowess of the Clarene when she is crowned with a full set of horns.

the Clarene does not often wear a crown. She is seen wearing it mostly when appearing as a light to devotees.

Her horns, while most often that of a ram, can also be that of an ibex or corkscrew shaped. She may take on antlers at times – this is rare, as antlers and deer are more associated with other gods. Her horns mark her divinity and status, as well as her spiritual power.

Her prosthetic legs can also represent variations in her form. All of them are lavishly decorated or carved, usually in the form of ungulate (cloven-footed) legs. She appears at times in a wheelchair; this usually implies she has ownership or dominion over the land she is inhabiting.

Though she tends toward nudity, she can appear lavishly dressed, usually in suits and sticking to a color scheme of black, white, and gold.

She may come bearing flowers and fruits, a sign of abundance and pleasure. Other times, she may bear a butcher’s knife, large cauldron, and/or handfuls of herbs. This form is associated with harvest and eating, usually with the implication that the one visited by her is to be ‘chopped up and eaten’ before being renewed.

Her more martial forms include that of Clarice noted above, as well as more general weapon-clad variations. She can hold Noir, the black spear she created from both her and the Dierne’s bones, as a form of decisive action and war. She can also hold the Staff of Founding, made of wood from the fairy tree used to found the West. This variation has associations with peace and reconciliation. She can hold a variety of swords and spears, though she typically goes without shield. In her more hostile forms, she may carry guns, varying from pistols to machine guns. This is far rarer, as those weapons are more tied to the Laetha.

Through all her forms, she radiates a ‘lack of light’, a dark light or essence.

Temperament

On the most superficial level, the Clarene is comfort and support. She is motherly and loving and forgiving. She opens her arms wide, glad to accept us as all we are. She is bountiful in her orchards and land and in her generosity – giving and giving and giving to us.

She is a kind and doting god. She gladly teaches her art to spirits who come to her. She builds houses for those that ask and expands her own to fit travelers in. She is adept in child-rearing. Care-taker of the house and kitchen, as well as her expansive farmland, she can be subtly powerful.

Her holy House is huge – with numerous offshoots and almost endless children, born and fostered in. She showers her House with gifts. Clothing, jewelry, food, and housing are the most common. Spiritual gifts and techniques are another. Her Initiatory Order (Vivant) revels in luxurious feasts. All of this comes from the Clarene’s generosity and desire to sustain her people.

She has an affection for humans. This is shown in her reaching toward us, extending her hand as we extend ours through our practice. Like some fairies, she can view humans as toys or playthings, though she does take a gentleness with us. As with her spirits, she offers us education in her skills. This can include spiritual or mundane practices.

She is incredibly hospitable. She gives tea and gifts to those who visit. She is a jovial and upbeat host.

the Clarene is also ruthless, destructively indulgent, and a bully. She wipes out the entirety of the dragon species that once inhabited her land, partially for food and partially to keep them from gaining power to rival her. When the Eighth god (the Liathane) appears and challenges her rule, she orders the Ophelene to kill him outright. When the Ophelene refuses, she attempts to kill both of the gods. She deems most spirits, and even some of her gods, as beneath her in strength, status, or worth. Though she rarely states so outright, she at times slips up and causes disruption among them.

Her indulgence and bias works against her, and her world, in disastrous ways. Her dislike and hostility toward stars leads in part to her refusal to do anything to help Mircea (the Dierne’s sister-brother) as he wastes away in the West, while her affection for humans leads her to aid the human Arabella in her otherworldly sickness. Her distaste for stars also affects how she approaches the Dierne (almost never as an equal) and the Liathane. She implies, at times, that they are unable to handle the responsibilities of being gods.

She is patronizing, toward her gods, spirits, and humans. She pats us on the head and tells us to let the ‘adults’ handle things. At times this is appropriate, but she values herself far above others. Even when another might be better at handling a situation, she may take the reins and make a mess in her arrogance. Her arrogance also causes her to dehumanize and disrespect those around her. Her lover the Ophelia often points out when such happens. Their relationship is at its coolest when the Clarene insists on ignoring her lover’s advice.

Her ruthlessness shows best in her creation of the Aletheia Androids, a line of spirits born out of a Laethic shard. the Clarene creates the first Aletheia in order to rescue other spirits, against the wishes and warnings of the Ophelia. The android performs as intended, but she is also plagued with a malfunctioning body and a tendency toward extreme violence. Seeing the use of the android, the Clarene creates more and more, abandoning them after they have fulfilled their purpose. She creates some without mouths, not recognizing a need for them to speak, and for others she ignores creating stable emotional frameworks. The level of destruction the Aletheia Androids bring leads to the Ophelia creating a twin line of robots to balance them out (the Alices).

All of this combines to form who she is. She is both kind and gentle and ruthless. She will do what she thinks is required to keep those she loves safe, even if that involves sacrificing those she loves (just not as much). She is fiercely protective. the Clarene as we worship her has lived through her mistakes and trials and come through the other side, just as the other gods have. To understand her, we have to see all her selves and figure out how they fit together.

Function

the Clarene is the progenitor and provider of the gods. She tends to the fields, farms, and slaughterhouses, as well as the businesses and shops in her holy world. She creates the otherworld we interact with. She is tied with abundance and stability, both important things to continuous survival.

Within the West, she acts as an overseer to the large operations and landscapes. She creates worlds under the West for her people to inhabit and explore, and she raises (and razes) cities. She declares where there will be wilderness, countryside, and urban living. She is heavily tied to the functioning of the cycles of the West and the holy days it gives us as well.

She ‘crowns’ (deifies) the Ophelia, Laetha, and Dierne. She has a power-over many of the inhabitants of the West and is the law-maker of the gods. She is concerned with order and the actual continued functioning of the West.

the Clarene created and watches the gate that separates the West from other parts of the otherworld and acts as a diving line between her and humanity.

For the practitioners of the Otherfaith, she has a role as a comforter and safe-haven; she protects us from gods like the Laetha and Liathane who can pursue their human devotees to breaking point. She also delineates those who are part of the ‘faith and the Other People from those who are not. She acts as boundary-maker and enforcer.

Applicability

the Clarene, being the first of the gods and their King, is usually honored first in our prayers. If one is unsure which god among the Four/Four to approach first, she is a good option.

Her tendency toward stability leads well to prayers concerning the topic. Her stability emphasizes house and home, especially homemaking. Activities such as sewing, knitting, baking, cooking, and cleaning fall into her realm. We can perform these as devotional acts for her.

She is tied to slaughter, and so hunting and/or butchering are skills to learn for those who wish to come closer to her mysteries. Preparing and understanding meat are other important parts of this god.

Confidence and sensuality are also part of the Clarene. She can help us build our own confidence or learn to appreciate our bodies. Her ties to granting godhood can aid us in honing ourselves and sharpening our skills, as well as building pride and self-worth.

Associated as she is to commitment, she is fitting for dedication ceremonies. We can look to her for support in being committed in our daily and devotional lives.

Caveats

As noted above, the Clarene can be a difficult deity. Compared to gods like the Ophelia, Laetha, Ophelene, and Liathane, who are all more outwardly or obviously frightening, the Clarene mostly appears as a soothing, kind deity. This is not wrong, but it is important not to be lulled into easy comfort. This warning also applies to the Dierne and Laethelia.

the Clarene is a god of cannibalism and slaughter, and these are lessons she lives out in her otheworldly home. She teaches these skills to the other gods, especially the Laetha in the form of self-cannibalism. For mystics and those inclined toward journeying or the more rapturous types of storytelling, the Clarene can be brutal. All the spirits she enlists to teach about slaughter, cannibalism, and food are sweet and kind, as she is, and can cause spiritual trauma if not handled properly.

Her Court and Initiatory Order both have to do with food, slaughter, and harvest and should be approached (when seeking entrance and initiation) slowly.

Though largely muted, thanks to the influences of the rest of the Four + Four Gods, the Clarene can be patronizing toward humans. For this reason it is better to build a relationship of some sort (through your preferred devotional style) with either the Ophelia, Ophelene, or Liathane. The first two are more stable forces than the last.

Domains

  • Agriculture
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Beauty
  • Black Dogs
  • Butchery
  • Caves
  • Cities
  • Compassion
  • Cooking
  • Death
  • Discovery/Exploration
  • Domestic Canines
  • Earth (Planet)
  • Earthquakes
  • Excess
  • Execution
  • Food/Harvest
  • Foxes
  • Griffins
  • Healing
  • Home
  • Industry
  • Joy
  • Jupiter
  • Knowledge
  • Lady-Love
  • Life and Death
  • Lions
  • Love
  • Luck
  • Marriage
  • Medicine
  • Mountains
  • Order
  • Purification
  • Recovery
  • Revenge
  • Revolution
  • Right Action
  • Seattle, WA USA
  • Sex
  • Swordfighting
  • Technology
  • Transformation
  • Wealth

Values

  • Abundance
  • Accessibility
  • Achievement
  • Adventure
  • Ambition
  • Assertiveness
  • Beauty
  • Bravery
  • Camaraderie
  • Challenge
  • Competence
  • Competition
  • Confidence
  • Cunning
  • Dependability
  • Dominance
  • Endurance
  • Euphoria
  • Excellence
  • Extravagance
  • Family
  • Fitness
  • Friendship
  • Generosity
  • Hospitality
  • Leadership
  • Longevity
  • Loyalty
  • Optimism
  • Potency
  • Power
  • Pragmatism
  • Reliability
  • Sharing
  • Strength
  • Teamwork
  • Victory

Relationships

Parents:

  • Unnamed Faery Queen

Lovers:

  • the Ophelia
  • Adilene
  • Desiree
  • Epiphany
  • Irene
  • Moira

Siblings:

  • the Ophelia
  • Bear
  • Black Lion
  • Claudia
  • Cordelia
  • Dark Mare
  • Nightmare
  • Thunderhorse
  • White Mare

Children:

  • the Laetha
  • the Ophelene
  • the Darren
  • Alynah Blake
  • Aletheia Androids
  • Book Keepers
  • Centries
  • Casimir
  • Dahlia
  • Dallas
  • Merrymell
  • Merryweather
  • Othani
  • Thiam

Rivals:

  • the Dierne
  • the Ophelene
  • the Liathane
  • Alynah Blake

Associated Spirits

  • Adilene
  • Aletheia Androids
  • Alynah Blake
  • Bear
  • Book Keepers
  • Casimir
  • Centries
  • Dahlia
  • Dallas
  • Desiree
  • Epiphany
  • Erann
  • Grace
  • Merryweather
  • Moira
  • Mora
  • Othani
  • Rabbit Troupe
  • Thiam

All Epithets

  • Girl-King
  • Unfeathered one
  • Singer
  • She of right action
  • Soft teacher
  • She of stable sight
  • Lion maker
  • She of sundered limbs
  • Hand-holder
  • Mask honer
  • Orchard keeper
  • Judgment maker
  • Pleasure giver
  • She of wondrous snakes
  • Bare city
  • Healer of wounds
  • Mistress of snark
  • Rolling hills
  • Lady of slaughter
  • Midwife
  • Jewels and gems
  • Ash and forest
  • Undertaker
  • House of magic
  • Debt owner
  • Mountain peaks
  • Cruel mother
  • Tea brewer
  • Ophelia’s lover
  • She of long dirt roads
  • Star-spearer
  • Beloved of women
  • Teller of filth
  • She of wholesome crops
  • Screaming retribution
  • Apple bearer
  • Skyscraper stilts
  • Petulant mother
  • Griffin rider
  • She who laughs
  • The maker of the land
  • Wind tamer
  • Earthbound daughter
  • Adilene’s lover
  • Centry maker
  • Stirring sunset
  • Gunpowder mother
  • Overabundant feast
  • Fire catcher
  • Girl-God

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.

[Update] Prayers

There was no Hawthorne & Heather column due to my being under the weather. I wanted to bring you some updates to the site and new variations on our prayers.

Our devotional life page has been updated to reflect our increased number of gods. We currently have eight, or our ‘expected’ number of gods. We do not have an official, agreed-upon name for our eighth god. I use ‘Liathane’ in prayers and have used it as a placeholder. I have also added Elliot’s prayer for the Darren. We haven’t solidified which day belongs to the Darren, so I’ve listed two days on which his devotion can be used.

I’m currently working on other simple prayers for the People. I need some help deciding which to use as our official ones. The best way to decide is to actually say them aloud so that we know what flows well. If you feel comfortable, please experiment with saying these prayers aloud and let me know which flows best to you.

The Forever Prayer

The Forever Prayer is based on the first prayer I made to say to the Four Gods. These variations have to do with the middle part of the prayer (’you who burn…’) and which order these titles should be read in. I personally don’t feel adding more titles for the Later Four Gods is practical, as it makes the prayer clunky and long. So consider both the flow and how the titles tie to the different gods.

Version One

Clarene Ophelia Laetha Dierne Laethelia Ophelene Darren Liathane
I praise the Four Gods of the faith –
You who burn, you who bury, you who dance, you who drown –

I praise you.

Version Two

Clarene Ophelia Laetha Dierne Laethelia Ophelene Darren Liathane
I praise the Four Gods of the faith –
You who bury, you who drown, you who burn, you who dance –

I praise you.

Version Three

Clarene Ophelia Laetha Dierne Laethelia Ophelene Darren Liathane
I praise the Four Gods of the faith –
You who bury, you who burn, you who dance, you who drown –

I praise you.

Version Four

Clarene Ophelia Laetha Dierne Laethelia Ophelene Darren Liathane
I praise the Four Gods of the faith –
You who burn, you who bury, you who dance, you who drown –
I sing to you your praises, I speak to you your words.

This I pray.

First Prayer

This is the first prayer I wrote for the Four Gods, upon which the Forever Prayer is based.

Clarene Ophelia Laetha Dierne
I praise the Four Gods of Western Faery –
You who burn, you who bury, you who dance, you who drown,
I sing to you your praises,
I speak to you your words,
That I may know and love you.

This I pray.

The Dedicant’s Prayer

This prayer is intended to open communication between the gods and the person praying. It’s not a commitment ceremony or a devotional commitment. It is not necessary to pray to the gods but can facilitate communication and comfort in praying to them.

Clarene Ophelia Laetha Dierne Laethelia Ophelene Darren Liathane –
Hear me as I speak to you.
I offer my hadn to you.
Clarene Ophelia Laetha Dierne Laethelia Ophelene Darren Liathane –
I offer my hand.
West wind, carry my prayer to the gods who dwell there.

This I pray.

Simple Devotional

I created this due to the unfortunate reaction I had to divine presence, in which I could not think of words to say to honor them or express my love and awe. I’m not sure to its applicability for other people.

I have no words to give you but my speech, plain.
I have no gifts to give you but my acts, simple.
But I offer them to you, in devotion.

This I pray.

Sunday Offering

I call this the ‘Sunday offering’, but it can be said at the end of your week whenever that falls. It does require some offering to be made, preferably one of water. It’s intended to be said at the end of the day at the end of your week.

Clarene Ophelia Laetha Dierne Laethelia Ophelene Darren Liathane –
Cleanse form me what has harmed.
Bring to me what will heal.

This I pray.
These offerings I give to you at the end of the day.


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.

[Update] Ophelia Masterpost

Firstly, happy December 1st!

I’m glad to announce that I was able to get the masterpost for the Ophelia up yesterday. The page is technically part of the ’30 Days of Devotion’, but the rest of the ’30 Days’ are not yet completed. Next I hope to post up the masterpost for the Laetha, Dierne, and Laethelia. I’ll also be working on the rest of the ’30 Days of Devotion’ for these gods, but they will only be posted up once all of them are completed. For now, please check out information on the Ophelia. You can find this information on her page here.


This is a masterpost of the Ophelia and will include all her symbols, myths, and other basic information.

Overview

from here:

the Ophelia

Main Role: Queen of the Waters/Life
the Ophelia is the divine lover to the Clarene, deified by drowning in her own river. She is heavily tied to water and all that means – flow, subtle power, health, time. She sustains the People and washes our shame from us. She is also tied to memory, because of her connections to time.

the Ophelia is associated with depression. She is seen as suffering from it and afflicting others with it. She also helps in recovery from depression (and those suffering from it should not avoid treatment or assume it is a ‘god-given’ illness). Her sorrow is not just the mental illness, however. We must be cautious and keep from ignoring or emphasizing her illness unduly.

  • House: Hull
  • Court: Blue
  • Initiatory Path: Rue (Sorrow)

Origins

the Ophelia was the second of the Four Gods to reveal herself to me in 2011. She came to me as I gazed upon the Catalina mountains – she was veiled in blue, with hair like dark water. When she reached for me, I was filled with an endless chill, an overwhelming sadness, and a powerful sense of danger.

The God herself seems to be from the Hudson River, a connection actually made by another member of the faith. She was a small river spirit before meeting the Clarene and being deified. the Ophelia is also connected to the Mississippi River. Each connection is tied to suicide-by-drowning. So far, this is the closest we have to a ‘history’ of this god.

Still, no matter the impressions we receive about these gods, they are not attested to in folklore. Our ideas and even messages from the gods should not be considered fact or scholarship. We are not reconstructionists. Their origins are more important to us for mythic purposes, not factual ones.

Personality

from this myth:

She had drowned in a thousand rivers by the time she met Lyra. Her hair was dark and full of seaweed and she had donned a thousand masks (one for each river), and she was sure that Lyra – who glowed like the night sky and ran like the wind in a storm – would not notice her.

Lyra was, after all, the child of fire and stone, and Ophelia was King of cold and wet. There was no future to be found but longing.

from this myth:

…you walk to the River.

You expect her to smell like blood still, but all you sniff is lotus flowers. Your mother sits on a rock near the bank, watching over a few young water faeries. Of you all, she’s the best adjusted. She even smiles, on occasion.

You stand by her side as she babysits the teenagers, and even in all your sorrow your chest lightens seeing her spine relax when their parents come for them. She really is atrocious with children.

the Ophelia looks at you immediately after, and all the tension returns.

from this myth:

the Ophelia had noticed, with each winter. She had noticed, and sometimes in her noticing had neglected to keep the ice that crawled along the River’s edge at bay, had sometimes felt the cold seep into her bones, and only with glares and firmly placed kicks displaced the winter that curled along her skin. She had noticed the forward curved horns the Clarene donned, had noticed the snow and spiraled ice that the King of the West wore. She had noticed but kept it far from her mind, because the world moved and as these things go – and we know how they go – they had drifted apart.

Perhaps the best description of the Ophelia is withdrawn. She is a quiet god, most often working behind the scenes to sustain the West and her People. Rather than the homely warmth of the Clarene or the boisterousness of the Dierne, the Ophelia is about duty. This duty may at times strangle emotional response or engagement from the god.

Whereas the Clarene has restrained power, the Ophelia is everything-restrained. She is cloaked in veils and heavy silks, slowing her movement. She sits with her back ramrod straight, and her gaze is unflinching. Externally she is alien, awkward to humanity, too firm to be a water god. She is like rocks laying at the bottom of the river – edges worn smooth, discerning marks worn away.

She was originally a water spirit, dwelling in a place bordering the lands of faeries and humans, her body becoming a dumping ground of the toxins and pollution in both worlds. She was chaotic and fearful and lashes out at any who approach her. It is only the Clarene, captivated by the beauty she can see beyond the pain, who can reach out to her without being burned. But when she removes the Ophelia’s heart, when she created the West for her lover, she shifted the core of the Ophelia. What was once a bleeding, spluttering heart became sewn in by silver threads. the Ophelia was reborn into a world where she had obligation, where she was part of the landscape itself in a way she had not been even before.

Compared to her occasionally bloody and ravenous lover, the Ophelia’s harsh power is often directed at individuals with sharp precision. She is icy, and she has great cruelty in her. Her relationship to humanity is often one of a silent challenger, bringing unpleasant cold in her manifestation. She swirls around us with her cold and her river muck, her skin slimy, her face gaunt. Because she is so frozen over she can appear frightening. It is hard, often, for people to feel a connection to her. She is not the boisterous Clarene, nor the starry but human Dierne, nor the human turned god Laetha. She lends her freezing waters to the Ophelene’s swift justice and threads dark waters into the Laethelia’s bubbly personality.

She is as capable of love and compassion as any of the Four Gods. We see her challenger side more often, and she patrons those who confront established systems or bring cataclysmic change, but she just as often patrons those who are aching in suffering. She submerges us to wash away our pain, to strip us down to the bone so that we can see what truly hurts us. She can grant spirits entirely new bodies and identities to free them from suffering. She is a great transformer, just like the Clarene, but she transforms through water rather than soil.

She is a fierce defender of what she values. This is seen in her petitioning on behalf of spirits she adopts, and it is also present in her conflicts with the Laetha. The two are often seen as aggressors, locked in conflict, but it is more accurate to understand them as having similar energies. They do not fight because they are opposites but because of their similarity. The same cold expressionless mask that the Ophelia wears is worn by the Laetha.

And inside the Ophelia burns a blue flame. Underneath her silver threads and stony body is the blue fire that is connected to faeries, that hints at her original form as a faery spirit. Her appearance as a flaming bird of blue flame is rarely seen, though it is tied to her mysteries and is a symbol of great power, almost ominous in its appearance.

Themes

One of the biggest themes related to the Ophelia is death, especially death through drowning. It is highly possible that she can be connected to other gods of drowning in some way, though that remains to be seen. Death-by-drowning in her only domain over the act of dying, however – she is much more concerned with the processes after death, such as decay and fertilization through corpses. Those spirits and souls in the Otherfaith who do not receive her tending after death are said to decay ‘improperly’, with parts of their soul turning to ash while others decay or even retain ‘living’ elements.

She strips that which was living and turns it into a new substance, tying her to rebirth as her opposite god, the Laetha, is also tied. She can aid those who commit suicide in her river by completely stripping them of their past lives and giving them a new life and body. This stripping away ties into the theme of cleansing. the Ophelia is one of the most powerful cleansing forces in the Otherfaith. She washes our bones clean; she strips from our souls pollution and shame. She is so skilled at this because she herself was once full of pollution and toxins.

This cleansing is facilitated by water – her rivers, her lakes, her streams. This process is usually seen as her filling up someone, permeating them or filling their lungs up with her substance. It involves a fair bit of ‘breaking’, as the Ophelia is a fierce god in her own right, especially in her desire to keep the People at their best state.

This brings us to the Ophelia’s theme of duty, one we saw highlighted in her personality. This connects her to structures of law, and she is frequently seen as a force of law and reprimand in the West. Though a ‘god of water’, she is concerned with structure, with the perfect temperature of her rivers, with the placements of stones and moss. Her duty is sacred. She wishes to uphold the West, to uphold its People, and she can be painfully single-minded in this pursuit. Though she will occasionally abscond duty for love (more often familial than romantic, though that too calls her at times), even then she has her obligations on her mind. She is the first of the Four Gods to have been deified (rather than born god-inherent), and she feels the weight of this. Her love is for the People. (This is why she can seem harsh at her interactions with us – she can see us at our best, and she wants us to become that.)

She is also the overseer of time and memory. This are what some would call ‘fate’, but the Other People do not have a concept of predetermination. Instead, the Ophelia teaches us about ‘action and reaction, rippling through time’. What is ‘fate’ is simply an action in the past, in the future, coming back to us – though not always our own action. And the Ophelia more than anyone else knows that sometimes things just happen, for no reason, and we are left with the impact of those actions, the fallout. She watches as time goes by, sometimes sticking her fingers in, bending it but most often watching. She is more likely to manipulate memory for her ends than the flow of time itself.

She is the faery who grants wishes in the Otherfaith. These wishes often involve altering time, space, or matter, and they inevitably have a repercussion of some kind. These are occasionally brought on by the Ophelia herself to teach the wisher a lesson, but just as often they are unintended consequences of her magic lashing out in unreliable ways. Wishing and the granting of wishes can be seen as an offshoot of her theme of duty.

Ethical Consequences

What does having a god such as this in our religion mean for us, ethically? What does she teach us, and how do we live in right relationship with her outside of devotional activities? (And those matter! Our hands cannot fail to do the work our lips are extolling.)

The ethical teachings the Ophelia offers us are, to put it rather simply:

  • deontological
  • contractarianism
  • situational

But we have to beware approaching those on just their face.

Though the Other People’s ethics are rooted in consequentialism and pragmaticism, the Ophelia teaches us of duty-bound (deontological) ethics. She is ruthless in her fulfillment of obligation, warning us of the dangers of adhering too strongly to duty over empathy, but she also reminds us that we all have duties. We all have things we must do to be in good relationship with our world, regardless of whether they are enjoyable or difficult. She reminds us that we are all, in some form, in a place of serving others and helping our world progress to a more just place.

Contractarianism, or a social contract, involves the relationship of the state or rulers to the people. Interestingly, though the Ophelia can seem solidly cold and assured of her godhood and rulership, her teachings in regard to this actually encourage us to critique this social contract. We must constantly strive for one that truly serves the people, that does not stifle justice or further oppression, and uplifts the other ethical impulses in the Otherfaith. Being a being-made-god, she does not teach of an innate right to rule but rather one based on duty and taking care of those under her, always with the purpose of protecting and furthering their care.

Situational ethics are vital to the Otherfaith. Within it, acts must be evaluated in the context they took place in, rather than by simple laws (interestingly, this can be at extreme odds with duty-bound ethics). Though the Ophelia is a fierce defender of the People, she also shows kindness toward those who have fallen out of right relationship, such as her adoption of the spirit Aster Aira (a spirit who killed the Ophelia’s own daughter). She teaches us both of context and of forgiveness, of seeing the entirety of a person and society rather than a single moment.

All these ethical teachings must be understood from the starting point of the consequentialism ethics that permeates the Otherfaith – we emphasize the actions and consequences of those actions rather than the intent or virtue of the person acting. We also have some influences of deontological (duty-bound) ethics, but those come secondary to the focus we place on whether an action is itself in line with our ethics are not. The intent behind the actions is not considered as important or relevant.

Domains

  • (processes of) death
  • dreams
  • duty
  • fate
  • fresh water (rivers/lakes)
  • memory
  • spiritual journeys/otherworld journeying
  • suffering/sorrow/shame
  • time
  • transformation
  • wishes

Symbols

  • algae
  • black and blue colored birds
  • blue
  • blue fire
  • clocks
  • death
  • decay
  • lakes
  • hourglasses
  • ocean monsters
  • peacocks
  • ponds
  • rain
  • river stones
  • river weeds
  • rivers
  • shapeshifting
  • sickly/mossy green
  • simplistic masks
  • skulls
  • snow/winter/ice
  • swamps
  • unicorns
  • unpleasant bodily functions
  • wells

Epithets

  • Bluebird
  • Blue Fire God
  • Dead Women
  • Death
  • Dutiful God
  • Heartmaker
  • Keeper
  • King River
  • Lady Death
  • Lady of the Veil
  • Lady of the Waters
  • River Women
  • Silent Observer
  • Sky Ophelia
  • Sorrowful
  • Soundless
  • Vile Queen
  • Wishmaker
  • Without Fate
  • Wounded One

Related Spirits

  • Aster Aira
  • Belle
  • Beryl
  • Casimir
  • Claudia
  • Corliss
  • Lilibell
  • Lyra
  • Malice
  • Mallory
  • Neve Winter
  • Sophia

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.

[Friday] Update

It is my pleasure to announce that a possible new god has been found for the Otherfaith. Elliot, one of the Other People, has been working on discovering any possible new gods that the Other People may have, and he has offered ‘the Darren’ up as a possibility.

He has posted basic information about the god here on our Wiki. I have also posted the stories of this god up on our Otherfaith mythology pages, both of which were written by Elliot. You can read ‘Embers‘, on the birth of the Darren, and ‘the Darren and the Crows‘.

Shedding more light on the god, I would like to quote this piece that Elliot wrote:

the Darren is a possible deity in the Otherfaith. He is humble despite his power, and stands as a peacemaker rather than a warrior. He has ties to stars, earth, and fire, and he appears as a giant man made of boulders with embers and fire smoldering in the core of his body. In some forms, he additionally has a silver robotic right arm which has neon purple trim. In human-like form, the Darren has been seen as a man with tan skin, black hair, and red eyes. He sometimes has white antlers on his head in this human form. the Darren’s symbol is a black-colored deer with large antlers and red eyes. the Darren’s core attribute is his humility. He brings honesty, fairness, understanding, and realization to the West. The best I can describe this is that he has a sobering effect: no matter what chaotic and/or bloodthirsty shenanigans occur among gods, spirits, and humans, the Darren brings everyone back to their senses. However, this is not a process to be taken lightly. the Darren brings truth and honesty: things that can be difficult to accept for everyone. the Darren is surprisingly down to earth for a god. He does not announce his godhood to impress or intimidate, and is slow to reveal details about himself. Yet this does not mean he is shy or timid. the Darren is very grounded and yet knows his power. Reserved, definitely, yet not as withdrawn as the Ophelia. Since beginning to interact with the Darren, I have found that his influence is centering when my natural impulse is to move out in a million directions. He says to slow it down and take a second look at where I am, no matter how painful it might be. the Darren’s influence helps to ground me. I feel like he is more like a trusted friend than a fairy god.

…As the combined power of the Clarene and the Dierne, the Darren combines elements of two gods who are often at odds with each other. But rather than hatred, the Darren brings peace and humility. In this way, one might think of him as a sort of counterpart to the Ophelene: when the Ophelene raises her sword to restore peace, the Darren imparts peace through mutual understanding. He is a diplomat rather than a fighter.

the Darren is a possible deity on the compass rose symbol in the Otherfaith. The eight-point compass rose is considered a sacred symbol representing the Four Gods, with six of its spokes spoken for in the form of the Clarene, Ophelia, Laetha, Dierne, Laethelia, and Ophelene. I am currently working on compass rose images to share to help others contemplate this image and how it relates to the gods.

It takes more than just one person to really bring a new god into the faith at this point. I would like to hear responses from others who either identify as Other People or who are interested in our work on what their thoughts are regarding the Darren. Of course, being respectful in any comments is expected. I feel very good about this new god but want to know how others feel. You can respond here, on Tumblr, on our Wiki (in comments on the Darren page, for example), on our Facebook page or group, or in email.

Elliot has written for our Otherfaith blog before. You can read his past essay ‘Shard of Hope’ here.


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] Fanfiction, Poetry, and Reflections

Merri-Todd, over on Antinous for Everybody, has written a post about fanfiction and ancestor veneration. Of interest to the Other People is this quote:

The Romantic artist is the glorious solitary male, drinking himself to death to bear the burden of his splendid isolation, the condition of his creative gifts. …

The fanfic writer, or the fan artist, by contrast, is a girl, or a woman, surrounded by a community of other girls and women who are keenly interested in her output. …It’s a tremendous challenge to the male ego embodied in the artist myth.

Why is this relevant to the People? Partially because I am an unabashed fan of, well, fandoms themselves, but also because challenging the dominant paradigms of our culture is part of what the People should do. This does not have to mean activism in the form of marching on the streets, as that type of activism is not fit for everyone, but we should be aware of damaging myths and cultural stories that we (by our very existence) are capable of changing or challenging. The Four Gods display this act in a myriad of ways.

Merri-Todd has also written a poem for Antinous, titled ‘Antinous for Everybody’ like her blog. Not only do I worship Antinous, but he is connected to some of our spirits (in a purely personal doxa way), and P. Sufenas Virius Lupus wrote beautiful poetry on various meetings between our Dierne and Antinous for the 2013 Apotheosis of the Dierne. While I am, and likely always will be, incredibly wary of ‘connecting’ any of our gods to other ancient deities (or even other modern ones!), I do feel it is important to acknowledge them and to acknowledge where personal doxa suggests connections to other deities.

(In my own life, I worship Antinous on behalf of both myself and one of my spirits, who is intensely devoted to the god and requested that I provide devotion to Antinous if I were to continue working with that spirit. The idea of spirits worshiping gods, of perhaps having close devotional relationships that are purely devotional, is something I have not seen explored or discussed much, but which is an integral part to the Otherfaith. So I hope to explore this more later on.)

Jack, on Sidekick Ex Machina, has written ‘The Red’. It is a striking poem that is for both our own Laetha and a pop culture spirit Jack is working with. Please give it a read. (It was also linked it in the Other People’s Facebook group. If anyone is interested in participating in the group – whether they worship our gods, are interested in just one of our gods, or interested in the People themselves – please send me an email and you can join.)

Finally, on Between Ocean and Hills, Jenn has written on how she first encountered the Otherfaith and a bit of a religious crisis she had regarding it. Personally, I found the post humbling, and it reminded me of my own struggles this year on whether I should even continue discussing the Otherfaith or let it be. Ultimately, I want to write a longer reflection on Jenn’s piece and give it the response it deserves, and it has also prompted some peripheral thoughts that are worthy of exploring. So, many thanks to Jenn for writing this.

I guess, in the end, that’s why I’m still here. After dropping my devotion because of all that stress I could have easily ended my involvement. Or I could have been lame and used the excuse of drama to leave–but I didn’t. I took a couple of weeks for myself, and then realized that I wanted to be here.

want to worship the Four Gods. I choose to worship them.


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] Prayers & Work

Jenn, one of the Other People, has written about work & Work over on her blog, ‘Between Ocean and Hills’. She blogs about the Otherfaith and about her other religious and spiritual work and, as always, it is a wonderful read. An excerpt from her latest:

We all have our work. We do what we are driven to do–by ourselves, by our gods, by our spirits, by our ancestors–and no one else should pass judgment on what other people do as work, or what they choose to call their work. Because there is a dangerous trend of seeing the ‘fluffy’ stage of neopaganism as just that–a stage. But maybe for some people, they will delve into that fluffy side of things and find everything they need and everything about their work is firmly in those ‘fluffy’ things like love and light. Not everyone is destined for being remade in the underworld, you know?

Over on ‘Adventures of Opalfish’, E. has posted a new prayer – ‘An Untitled Prayer’ – that recognizes each of the Four (+2) Gods:

Girl-King, Carver of Worlds and Crafter of Creatures,
Piercing our hearts with thorns and roses,
May you ever make us anew.

And in other news, polytheist.com is now live. This project brings together many polytheist voices, celebrating our diversity. Ideally, we will be able to move past the most basic idea of polytheism (which is consistently a roadblock in many discussions) and delve even deeper into modern polytheist thought and practice. I am one of a myriad of columnists, and the selection is wonderful. I’m so blessed to count friends among the other columnists who have turned out amazing work. Please check out the main site.

My column, ‘Hawthorne & Heather‘, will focus on life-after-the-gods, and my first column details a bit on how life has changed since my god-touched teenager years. I’m very excited to explore this issue, as it ties very much into the Otherfaith and my role in this religious tradition.

Hawthorne arrived and was loud. He threatened everything I knew.

He especially threatened how I knew spirits operated. The spirits I knew asked for favors, asked for offerings, and my relationship with them was ultimately devotional. It was reflected in the writings of other polytheists I had read. Hawthorne didn’t want offerings. He rolled his eyes at me when I gave them. He scoffed when I tried to apply prayers and structure to his interaction with me.

You can read my first post here.

Although it is no longer Otherfaith Sunday, the askbox on our official Tumblog is always open. You can submit questions even without a Tumblr account. This past Sunday we received a great question about the possibility of more gods in the faith – and the answer is yes, it is possible!

As a last note, we have a Facebook group for the Other People and those interested in our gods or tradition. You can find me on Facebook if you are interested in joining.


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.