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Pagan Blog Project: Justice

If I were the type of person to apologize for not posting I’d tell you why; I help run a successful Belegarth event, danced to live music, work finally is picking up, and I signed a new lease. But since I’m not that’s sort of person…

And? Stonehouse was saved for another year. And I got so much dirt on what’s going on from my brother-in-law, as well as a peek into the improvements they are already doing to the site. I personally really like the stages.

So onwards:

Justice

Dike is the anthropomorphized spirit/goddess of Justice in Hellenic Mythology. In Hesiod’s Works and Days, she’s discussed sitting next to Zeus and speaking to him of what we have done wrong:

“There is Virgin Dike (Justice), the daughter of Zeus, who is honoured and reverenced among the gods who dwell on Olympos, and whenever anyone hurts her with lying slander, she sits beside her father, Zeus the son of Kronos (Cronus), and tells him of men’s wicked heart, until the people pay for the mad folly of their princes who, evilly minded, pervert judgement and give sentence crookedly.”

But when we live a life worth living, one of righteousness and justice, and one we are willing to live out loud, we having nothing to fear:

“For whoever knows the right and is ready to speak it, far-seeing Zeus gives him prosperity; but whoever deliberately lies in his witness and forswears himself, and so hurts Dike (Justice) and sins beyond repair, that man’s generation is left obscure thereafter. But the generation of the man who swears truly is better thenceforward.”

Sometimes when pagans talk about divine justice, it’s either on an incredibly personal and inane level (no shit, one I came across was “I broke up with my boyfriend, is (goddess dealing with love) angry at me and punishing me?”) or it’s very impersonal. But Dike is a spirit, and one that outside of mythology, works more as a cause and effect — she is sister to Order and to Peace, a member of the Horae, who exist for the benefit of humankind, a true gift.

So here’s to Justice, and an Orphic Hymn to her:

“To Dike (Justice), Fumigation from Frankincense. The piercing eye of Dike (Justice) bright I sing, placed by the sacred throne of Zeus the king, perceiving thence, with vision unconfined, the life and conduct of the human kind. To thee revenge the punishment belong, chastising every deed unjust and wrong. Whose power alone dissimilars can join, and from the equality of truth combine: for all the ill persuasion can inspire, when urging bad designs with counsel dire, ’tis thine alone to punish; with the race of lawless passions, and incentives base; for thou art ever to the good inclined, and hostile to the men of evil mind. Come, all-propitious, and thy suppliant hear, till fates’ predestined fatal hour draws near.”

 

 
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Posted by on May 20, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Job hunting season.

I’m really longing to be a teacher’s wife right about now. I’m longing to take a day off of work to help my husband set up his first classroom. To get the stuff out of our bedroom and into a proper space again, to support him through his first year teaching. I’m just pretty sure that it is not going to be this year.

The husband has his fifth interview of the summer set up for Friday. We’re still waiting to hear back on the one he went on last week (in a district where he has friends, did student teaching, and contacts within administration. So he’d really like this one), and he passed a screener phone interview for this next one last night. The rational part of both of us knows that for a recent graduate in this climate, five interviews isn’t bad at all. If nothing happens, he’ll sign up as a sub, and after that picks up he can leave his current horrible job.

The irrational parts know how devastated he will be if that happens. So, I keep myself assured that as the summer draws to a close, more teachers with suddenly resign and my husband wows at the interviews. Friends of ours with less interviews got hired later than this. And a lot of late hires are new teachers.

A lot of my friends and family are job hunting right now, including both sisters-in-law. Brother’s wife had an interview at a local college for their costume shop (which she would be fab for. She’s amazing) and husband’s sister has two interviews and practicals at different hair salons, and is waiting to hear a yes or no from a third. She’s very talented with hair, and she really wants to cut mine off, but I won’t let her.

I’m visualizing. If I were the witchcraft sort, I’d do the work, too. Which tells you how much I long to be a teacher’s wife.

When I mentioned that on twitter last night, it came with the addition of “like the cheesy ‘inspirational romances’ I get for free on my kindle” the response was hilarious, let me tell you. There’s an entry in this for why this pagan absolutly loves her escapist Christian Historical Romances.

 
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Posted by on August 10, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Altars and Shrines

Took me long enough, right?

First up: Marriage Shrine Part one. Almost all of the items come from the wedding, or were presents while we were dating. Others are just pretty or have family significance. The picture is our favorite from the wedding, and it wasn’t even from our photographer, but Nick’s aunt.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marriage Shrine Part Two: A poem written by a friend for our wedding, the dried roses and ribbons from the scavenger hunt proposal, and curios from other friends weddings.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hermes Mini-shrine, on top of my jewelry box. I’ve had this key forever, I have no idea where it came from but it’s great for Hermes, isn’t it?

 

 

 

 

 

 

The combined space for Aphrodite and Hera. Aphrodite’s is the seashell and perfume bottle, the rest is for Hera.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Two pictures of the main/working Altar. And my mass of peacock feathers.
You can also see my prayer beads. I really love the simplicity of this altar arrangement.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And this is the roommates derpy Corgi, Ein. He barged in while I was taking pictures. And leapt on top of the bed as if he had agility!

 
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Posted by on August 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Hellenic Devotional? Your thoughts?

Growing up, one of my favorite times of the year (depending on whether or not I was an eye-rolling teenager) was advent. My family lit candles on an advent wreath, sang and read from a little booklet that was available from the Church. These little readings were meant to focus our thoughts on the birth of Jesus, and prepare our minds and thoughts for Christmas. They were never very long, maybe 5 minutes at most, and it was a great little time out for the day.

I’m sure I would have enjoyed it more if I wasn’t a little ADHD brat.

But a project that’s been weighing on my mind is to do a little devotional booklet like this one — a month-long one. Little stories, prayer suggestions, meditation on values, gods — that sort of thing. Partially for myself, but also a community resource. The Hellenic community has gotten into devotional anthologies in a big way for poetry and short stories, but not really like this. I’d like to offer it in an e-book format.

What I want to ask the community at large is: What would you want to see in something like this? A Theme? Suggested topics? And what do you think about the project in general.

 
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Posted by on August 3, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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30 Days of Paganism Day 27 How your faith has helped you in difficult times

Because this is really personal, it’s going to be briefer than usual. I’ve got a small laundry list of disorders. The physical ones are really the least of my worries. ADHD is my every day life, and depression comes and goes. (It, thankfully, is in a “go” period right now).

And I got through some of the worst bouts since middle school  during college because of a variety of things: cheap therapy provided through my school, my loving then-boyfriend, and well, discovering Dionysos as a god who encourages you to break bonds that limit you. Developing a mystic side also gave me a way to channel my experiences into a positive reinforcement.

Religious has never been a fix all for my problems. It’s there in my life, and it is part of my coping toolkit, and ever-present. I hate it when people say that religion is crutch, particularly when they say it with scorn. Crutches are useful, and that sentence reeks of people who like to catch disabled people not presenting as disabled.  Like the companies that scour facebook for a person with FMLA for depression looking happy or having a good day, as if it is proof that they can’t be depressed.

When I’m depressed, I smile more. That’s a coping method too. Uh, this was a digression again. In real short terms, I pull upon my strengths and one of those is religious faith, as is the faith that whatever it is, will pass and I will get through it.

 
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Posted by on June 7, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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30 Days of Paganism Day 25: Priest? Clergy? One or both? Neither?

…All of the above?

I’m recently coming out of a period where I believed with holy fervor that I needed to be a priestess. And not just a household one, but a big time leader. I blame my brother, because seeing him go through the process of Ordination was inspiring. He ditched his secular life in service of his god.

…okay, not that being a manager at a truck rental place is any sort of important secular life. At least at the insurance company where I work, I can say that I am helping people recover. Priesthood has been good for the brother, even if he had to undergo empathy training. This is my family folks. This should explain everything. Very well-meaning, very dedicated, no social ability whatsoever.

But I felt I needed to do something similar. But while I wanted (and still kinda do) to be a monk as a kid, I don’t have the temperament for it now, particularly since there isn’t a broader community to do it in. I do benefit from structure, but I have a hard time getting it going on myself. This is a digression, isn’t it? See what I mean. Structure, darling girl. I barely can keep my head on. I’ve heard of one other Hellenic in Central Illinois, and while they are close, it would still mean driving, and that’s more terrifying than anything else. I get lost in straight lines.

But between my brother, and a series of people I was watching and reading on LJ/other blogs, etc, I got a little caught up. I’m mostly over that now. Other than in the way that if you are the one contacting the gods, you are a priest. Or that we are all priests, oh, you get the point. I’m not part of any local community and I do things all on my own, what’s the point of professional clergy without it? Part of my simplifying process that I am working on is releasing the things that I don’t desire, or that aren’t good for me. This desire is one of them.

Does paganism need pro clergy? If that’s what you need, go for it. It’s good to have those resources. But Hellenic Paganism is first a religion of the household, and clergy is few and far. And I’m good with that. I’ll be devoted to my gods without needing that validation, without being an uber mystic, just a small everyday mystic.

Maybe when I’m old I’ll become a monk. Because monks are still awesome.

 
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Posted by on June 1, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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Thank Hermes for a huge work opportunity

Thanks be to Hermes!

I’ve been working at my new job for less than a year, and I figured I was doing pretty well. My stats are good, and if the job is a bit repetitive, it beats the call center. So imagine my surprise when my supervisor comes up to me and says, “Your name was flouted for a special team. The meeting is tomorrow.” Uh, okay. She gives me a short rundown of the responsibilities, and I come in early today for the meeting and…

Okay, if you haven’t gathered by now that I work for a major insurance company (and if you know what town I’m in, you’d even have a good guess which one it is) and work with contents of losses, you haven’t been paying attention. And if you haven’t noticed that the south has just been ravaged by the weather, you need to wake up out of your obvious coma.

Put those two together, and you can start to see the team I’m on now. Basically, enough time has passed that our Catastrophe department is getting inventories from the disaster. And for the very worst of these, they want one on one support from our department, one person that can see the request for quotes from beginning to end, and knows all the information.

I got to this meeting, and all of the other members have been in the department for years and years. And I haven’t even hit a year yet. We have no idea what the scope of this is going to be — we weren’t shot down about overtime or working from home. That’s ….interesting, because as a department, we don’t do that. But since any OT is billable to catastrophe, they might.

It’s a little overwhelming, but thanks to Hermes for giving me this opportunity. We were selected for our skills in quoting, speed and customer service. I hate that such destruction has allowed for this opportunity, but all things being interconnected, it has.

May I do right by my customers and most importantly, those people who have lost so much. Hermes, lend me the presence of mind, the grace and courage to do the very best that I can and be mindful of who is end recipent of my work.

 
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Posted by on May 6, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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30 Days of Paganism: Day 17: My ways of worship

Welcome back to the 30 Days of Paganism, where all thirty days do not have to be next to each other!

I’m writing this as I procrastinate on one of my least favorite chores. Not that I have favorite chores, mind you, just ones that I don’t mind doing as much. I’m picking up the bedroom and bathroom, organizing my cluttered life, and doing laundry.

Why am I saying this in a post that’s supposed to be about my ways of worship, or however I put it? My chores aren’t really all that interesting after all. Even a 5-year-old can clean their room (unless that 5-year-old is me) without a spiritual impact. But for me, being Hestian, making my house clean is a spiritual task. I want to create a home that is inviting and full of Gods. But I grew up not ever really having chores or set tasks to do. My parents kind of let that go to the wayside because they had both my twin brother and I to deal with, with our own special needs. I think mom thought it was a miracle if I remember to put my dirty clothes in the hamper.

So one of the ways I honor Hestia is learning to be an adult when it comes to making a good home. Since the house isn’t all our, the main place I do this is our bedroom suite. Most weekends are tidying weekends, with a good clean around the new moon (more on that in a minute). Weekdays is putting clothes in the hamper and making the bed, which I do while saying a quick prayer to Hestia.

Saturdays when the partiers haven’t left me a present of beer bottles all over the kitchen also mean fresh bread. Nothing brings a home together quicker than a loaf of bread, and I love doing it by hand. I have a go to recipe for bread that is simple and delicious. I’m thinking of trying the no-knead later on tonight, to see if I can keep it going.

If I put just one word to my way or worship, it would be notice. There are gods in all things. My daily life is spent in service, and service sometimes is just mundane shit. I notice things and they remind me of the gods. They are here, interacting with our world in ways we don’t always catch. They don’t just do the big things, but the little too.

My ways of worshiping Dionysos are a bit different. I do rituals on his holidays, and then when the mood strikes. I take dance lessons in his honor, and I strive to do well at them. Fridays nights are full of people enjoying themselves, drinking and letting loose. I facilitate this madness, and that is truly Dionysian.

I’m not a big gestures person. I’d rather give my simple offerings, live my life knowing and thanking the gods for all that they do for us humans, than any heavy lifting hoo-rah WORK. I know that this is also part of my calling to the gods, but it isn’t one they insist on too often, nor one that is needed of me that often.

But when I do …. I trance by dancing and chanting. I bring Dionysos into presence and let him descend and all is there, I pull forth and bring back what he has told me, secrets in my ears. And life is good, tough but good.

 
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Posted by on April 30, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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30 Days of Paganism Day 15. Pantheon (anti) – On finding a pantheon.

Halfway through and I’m falling behind again. But this is actually somewhat of a fun story.

As is probably pretty easy to tell, I grew up Catholic. My split happened when I was 13/14, like a lot of people, and it was partially teenage rebellion, but also because I didn’t grok Original Sin. I still don’t. At the time, I was a regular in a chatroom for sci-fi/fantasy fans and I learned about “Wicca” and paganism from some of the other regs. I got book recs and stuff from them, but if you are only as good as your teachers, well?

Okay, it was like 13 years ago. If you remember the internet back then, you know what websites were around, and what quality they had to offer. I may be smart, but I was in high school. Everyone is a little stupid in high school. I called myself Wiccan sometimes, pagan most of the time. I got into arguments about my pentacle with administration. I may have come back by writing well-researched essays, but still, high school is idiotville. At the time, I was pretty soft polytheistic, non-deity specific, and really just rather wishy washy.

I amassed a small library, with what little money I made from work and stumbled into better areas of paganism. I didn’t connect well with the generic form of Paganism often presented in 101 books, and really not with the God and Goddess cycle presented. I pick up mythology books and start reading.

In college, I get the idea that maybe what I’m missing is a single pantheon. The web had started to grow and I met more dedicated recon-types and I figured that I needed a focus. I continued studying mythology and decided to try reaching out to pantheons instead. Do a load of research and then a ritual in that “style” to see what happened, that sort of thing.

I first figured, “well, I’m German. Let’s try Asatru!”, and tried the mythology on for size. It baffled, bored and annoyed me, so it was little surprise when I started trying to make contact that the response I got back was rather indifferent. Nothing at all. I’ve tons of friend who are some sort of heathen and I’ve never had a glimmer of interest since.

I did much the same when doing a foray into Celtic and Irish Paganism. The myths made no sense to me, all the different cycles never fit for me. And when I started making contact; I did actually make contact. I’ve a friend who believes that the Celts are a closed culture and he laughs whenever I tell him this story. The contact I got back was “Oh, how cute you are. You aren’t ours, but aww, cute little mortal.”

From there I decided to go back to my childhood love, Hellenic/Roman and well, that’s where the rest of these 30 days comes into play, doesn’t it?

 
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Posted by on April 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

 

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How to talk to others; religious discussion in two parts

Most other married people I know don’t have roommates. We do, and it’s actually a fairly enjoyable situation. We get a great deal with the house and I get a social life built in. And a bathtub that I am marrying. One of the nicer things about our roommate is that both he and his girlfriend are intelligent, thoughtful humans and Christians. So is roommates father, our landlord and minister in his own right.

We were sitting in the garage the other night as people were pounding away at an impromptu armor building session when the girlfriend and I got to talking. She’s a devout Christian the same way I am devout, which is always inspiring. She mentioned that in one of her classes the profession maligned paganism, Wicca and of course (because she does attended a conservative Christian college) said we practiced human sacrifice both now and in the past. The past, whatever. She didn’t say much, other that stating that she believed he was wrong, but mostly because she didn’t know much herself.

So I educated. Basic stuff, really; Paganism is an umbrella term, Wicca is a very specific religion but that it is also used as a shorthand (for good or ill), that there are many different pagan religions — but no, it’s not much like different denominations. Simple stuff — I didn’t need to go into specific practices at this time. Explaining what Hellenic means was sort of amusing, though.

She’s been interested before, and we’ll probably have nice long conversations later as well. She has her faith, one that treats her well and that she is strong in, but it isn’t threatened by me having my own and it being so counter to it. And that gets me thinking, for the most part, this is how I operate in the pagan world. Even when I encounter ideas and practices within the Hellenic community that I don’t abide with, it’s usually easier to just say my bit of thought and move on, if it’s not something that I find directly harms in influences harm.

I’m very active on a forum, though less so than I used to be mostly because I got tired of the same conversations popping up in the religion section over and over again. It was a constant rehash, and others were better at it than myself. But more so, I would look back at how I was framing the discussion. I have a reputation for being the “nice one” but that was in comparison to other members. It started feeling toxic to my own behavior. So I’ve stepped back, and try only to respond in ways that are more productive. I fail sometimes, but it’s a journey.

And that’s really what I want to accomplish as I have these discussions. That they don’t have to be brash, bold and full of snark all the time. They can be quiet and work with the person, so that they don’t get a barrage information that they will never retain all at once, and that they can progress on their own journey. The girlfriend will eventually ask more questions about Hellenic Polythiesm and what I do and believe and I’ll be able to answer well. And on the other forum? I’ll still be respected and listened to, not because I have the best snarky banter, but because I’m fair, honest and compassionate. And hopefully because I’m right.

 
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Posted by on June 28, 2010 in Uncategorized

 

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