For Polytheists

(I feel like I should probably label ALL such posts this way, just so it’s crystal clear that I’m directing my comments at fellow polytheists and not at the general pagan crowd. I’m not interested in arguing IF the gods are real, I am interested in delving into more detailed discussion requiring the understanding first that the gods ARE real. If you don’t feel that way, nothing in this necessarily applies to you.)

That all being said, just wanted to direct your attention to two recent blog posts. The first is Gods with Agency: Ritual theory for polytheists by Morpheus Ravenna. She thoughtfully explores how an underlying assumption that the gods are real, individual beings with their own agency will affect how one performs ritual. I think even hard polytheists sometimes err a little in the focus of our rituals, so this is a good check for everyone to do. For instance:

“What would we do in our invocations if the Gods were real to us? We wouldn’t just be performing the invocation, we would be at the same time actively feeling, sensing, and listening for the Gods to arrive. We would keep singing, keep speaking, keep calling to Them for as long as it took to bring Them in. We would build our ritual skills toward facilitating passion in participants for this kind of calling, rather than letting the energy die down after one peak when it naturally wants to, and letting that be our cue to end the invocation. We would train our senses to be able to recognize when They have in fact arrived, and that would be our cue to move to the next stage of the rite, inviting Them along with us. We would be orienting our action in ritual at least as much toward communication with the Presences we’re trying to conjure and work with, as toward the human participants.”

There’s a lot of other good points in here that serve as reminders not to treat the gods as our servants but as honored guests at our rituals. And to make a space in which They can be present. The comments to this post are also refreshingly thoughtful and polite (even when disagreeing) and worth a read.

The second is Tess Dawson’s reply to some negative feedback she received on a recent post about how to approach a deity you know little about. She had made some very practical suggestions that all erred on the side of caution, the usual devotional stuff, and yet apparently received a lot of resistance especially to the idea of making offerings that are not shared.

“If a person living in an inner-city ghetto in a gang war zone can manage on occasion to pour out a 40 to his homies, chances are high that you can afford to crack open a juice box of 100% pure fruit juice and pour it in honor of the gods. Sweet Ancestors, people, it’s not the blood of your firstborn child. It’s juice. Pour it. Into the ground. Seriously. The grape juice police will not accost you. I promise.

It’s a sacrifice. That’s what sacrifice means. It means that you are letting go of something in order to give it to another–and in this case, that “other” is a deity. I like how a friend put it–you can share a meal with the deities, but you don’t eat off their plate, just as you wouldn’t eat off of a friend’s plate, because it’s rude.I would go further and say that it is like eating from the plate of royalty. You’d be kicked out of Buckingham Palace for trying that at the Queen’s dinner–“Hey, Liz, you gonna eat that?””

It is depressing to me that people are still arguing against making tangible offerings to the gods. As someone said in an internet forum many, many years ago (and I think I put this into my book Kharis): the gods’ gifts to us are tangible, why shouldn’t our gifts to Them be so as well? And if what you’re supposedly doing for the gods is absolutely no different than what you’d be doing if you were alone, how is it worship? If you can’t spare even a small portion of your food or drink and give it over *entirely* to the gods, why bother with gods at all? And certainly you can’t have the audacity to then ask Them for anything. (And as Tess points out, financial concerns are really not an excuse unless you truly don’t even have the most basic human needs covered…. if you are reading this on your own computer or phone or whatever, you have the means to make at least a small sacrifice.)

But beyond all of those concerns, there is the more esoteric side of the act: fully devoting a tangible offering to the divine realm bridges the worlds. It opens the way for further communication on both sides. It is a magical act that can be the catalyst for real divine presence in one’s life. And it just cannot be substituted with “happy thoughts” or “good intentions”.

Anyway, good food for thought in both cases – even if you fully agree with the basic points being made, it’s never a bad idea to check in on your devotional approach. It can be hard to maintain the proper mindset sometimes especially when surrounded by a culture which encourages thoughtlessness and self-centeredness.

~ by Dver on December 19, 2013.

93 Responses to “For Polytheists”

  1. This was a very good read – thank you for sharing it.

  2. Yes, always a good read. In my tradition, there are some very tangible offerings to be made– votive pieces, blood, incense, dance, a life. But food is an interesting thing because it is rarely given over physically. It is often let to sit out for the duration of the festival so the gods may take its “essence”, and then then eaten afterward. Accounts of Dia De Muertos offerings given this way are said to taste and smell bland by the time the celebrants have their turn. That the spirits and ancestors get to eat the sweetness of the fruit, or what have you, leaving something decidedly different behind.

    • Yes, there are definitely a few traditions in which it is considered appropriate to consume offerings for the gods, after the gods have taken whatever essence They take. However, in a situation where the god is unknown, probably best to err on the side of caution since *most* gods do not share. And one should always be *willing* to offer something fully, if asked or warranted.

      Also, I believe in those traditions the emphasis is still put on what the gods/spirits prefer – in other words, the food offered is the gods’ favorite, not necessarily the humans’. Whereas I have actually seen pagans say they were choosing something other than the god’s favorite drink/food, because they personally didn’t like that thing. As if their tastes were the important ones.

  3. I believe when I set something aside as sacrifice to the Gods, its Theirs. When the ritual is over, whatever it was is gratefully removed and put outside where whatever forces of Nature about will finish the consummation.

  4. […] https://forestdoor.wordpress.com/2013/12/19/for-polytheists/ […]

  5. Reblogged this on Thracian Exodus and commented:
    Fuck yeah.

  6. It’s amazing to me that person(s) can get upset about the idea of not consuming a deity’s offering. I’m not sure what the controversy is. I don’t see anyone spitting angry about having an entire bottle of champagne dashed on the hull of a ship. And yet a few drops of wine or juice on the ground for the deities has earned such vehemence…

    • Not to mention, as I said in Sannion’s post, the many ways we are truly wasteful in this culture, which are far more egregious than it will ever be to pour out a drink of something on the ground, even if the gods are entirely an illusion.

      • Yes. I think the idea of making offerings somehow triggers a scarcity response that is met with confusion, fear, anger, and/or resistance.

        • or they’re just plain selfish

        • Interesting to note, though, that our ancient ancestors, who really *were* in danger of scarcity, who had no assurances that they would be able to eat if the crops failed or what-have-you, had no problem at all making offerings of what little they did have to the gods. They understood to whom they owed their fortune.

        • I’ve been bitterly poor most of my life, and I do, indeed, get a scarcity response over money, but I still manage to put aside a little so that I can make sacrifice to the gods. The wine I offer is seldom more than $7, $10 if I’ve had a good month on Etsy, and I take a tip from the ancient Hellenes –I mix with water– and another from my Grandparents who lived in London during the Blitz –I ration it carefully to get through the month. No one is saying people have to pour out a whole bottle, or even just a whole glass every time, but a sacrifice is important to build that bond of kharis.

  7. I wonder if part of the difficulty here is that little word anathema, which used to mean “offering,” but which now means “the most objectionable activity imaginable.”

  8. Christianity is how that shift happened. There was a point where the early christian theologians seized control of the dialogue, which up until that time had been Pagan and that’s when you start seeing the meaning of words shift.

  9. Just so you know, that quote from tess dawson is one of the most disgusting and racist piece of shit things i have ever read in my life. every person who lives in the ghetto has “homies” and “pours a 40 for them” can afford to give an offering. ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME? yes, a loved one dying is totally the same as worship wow way to go. yes, comparing fucking religious practice to a corrupt system that kills and destroys CHILDREN. PEOPLE WITH ACTUAL HUMAN LIVES AND HUMAN HEARTS. THEY MATTER MORE THAN THE GODS DO!!! especially considering that these are people who have been ignored and pushed aside and actively persecuted for centuries by people in power. and you compare their suffering to offerings? do you realize how demeaning and cruel and fucking heartless that is? as somebody who has seen the damage done to children who live in those places, i am disgusted. i am actually crying right now because i knew kids whose parents died walking home from work. i knew a boy less than 10 yrs old who got shot in the fucking leg playing in his front yard. families are torn apart every day. people lose their lives, but worst of all they lose their hope. people who grow up and live in those places think that their lives will always be this way. and the horrible thing is, most of the time its true. because of attitudes like yours, people who think that human suffering is comparable to things that are NOT AS IMPORTANT AS REAL HUMAN LIVES.
    you are not a good person if you put the gods before suffering people. you are not serving your gods if you put them before actual suffering people. you are ignoring the pain of real people just so you can feel so proud of yourself and so pleased with the way you live your life. but you do not know what it is to be followed around a store, or to have people hide their children when u walk by, or to have a teacher make fun of your culture in front of your fucking face. you do not know what it is to be constantly reminded of how different you are by the color of your fucking skin and the way your name is spelled. or how every single time i turn on the tv or the computer, i remember that i am left out and excluded from the communities i am supposed to belong to. i am a polytheist. i am devoted polytheist who believes fiercely in their gods. but i know that the gods that i love, the gods i care about, the gods i worship, want me to put more effort into real living people who arent served by anyone. devotion is important, but the work of helping those who are ignored and hurt and abused is more important than as many prayers as you want to say. it is worth more than a million blood offerings, a thousand devotional tattoos. helping those who nobody else is helping is the most devotional and devout thing to do. if you want to ignore that good for you, but you are not worthy of the gods you worship if you do.

    • Wow, so tell me how you *really* feel.

      Uh, yes actually, pouring one out for dead friends IS the same as worship, it’s essentially ancestor worship. The fact that you don’t seem to understand that is another sign we need a Polytheism 101 course.

      Sorry, I don’t believe people matter more than the gods. But nor do I believe that making offerings to the gods in any way has to take away from helping people (or in my case, animals, who I value far higher than people). I’m not sure where you’re getting that from.

      I’m really not clear on your logic since you’re just ranting on and on, so I don’t know how saying “put out some food and don’t share it” is the same as “ignoring human suffering”. But I happen to believe that the gods, having agency and power, can potentially help those suffering much more than the tiny amount of money or time I could scrape together – so if my top priority was helping suffering people, I would still make large offerings to the gods along with my secular work, because I would consider it one of the best ways to accomplish my goal.

      “helping those who nobody else is helping is the most devotional and devout thing to do.”

      No, it is simply a very good thing to do. So is helping animals, protecting and restoring the environment, and plenty of other good works. All of those things may also be devotional acts for some deities, depending on the deities’ concerns and desires. But people, I hate to break it to you, are not the most important thing in the universe. They are not the reason the world exists, and they are not the most important thing to every god and spirit that exists, many of whom existed far before people.

      • Uh, yes actually, pouring one out for dead friends IS the same as worship, it’s essentially ancestor worship. The fact that you don’t seem to understand that is another sign we need a Polytheism 101 course.

        So true! But some people are just looking to be offended.

        • No.
          First before we have the polytheism 101(as if newbs need a class and the Gods can’t show them a path (for those with an ok godphone) we should have how not to be a dick class. THat pouring a 40 out to a homie is straight up wrong. It is the same as saying, hey you can’t be gay, you don’t talk with a lisp or prance about, or all muslims are terrorists.

          Calling tess out for that bullshit is not being mean, it is calling her out on her bullshit. If she can’t take it, then she needs to get off the internet. SHe can also stop trying to be an authority figure in polytheism as well.

          Now lets talk about how it’s the same as worship.

          http://www.thefreedictionary.com/homage
          Pouring out some alcohol for someone you love, is usually done by the military people I know. It is not them worshipping, it is them giving homage to the memory of someone they love.

          definition of worship
          http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/worship

          Other ways of showing homage to dead ones, is a wake. A wake is not worship. Putting up shrines in their memory, again it is not worhsip. We as Pagans may do it to ancestors and Gods, but it is not the same thing as what other people do when they give homage and respect to people they love and care for.

          definition of memorial
          http://www.thefreedictionary.com/memorial

          There was no cause to show the amount of snark to someone who was pointing out Tess’s dickishness in her homies paragraph. OH and her poverty scree was also a level of effing dickishness as well. SHe deserved the calling out.

          Tess was talking about a movie trope and talking out of her ass about a culture she has no damn idea about, and then insulting them in the process. That is being ignorant and then an asshole and to go on and further bitch in her ensuing post, shows it’s about her ego.

          https://www.facebook.com/notes/cloudia-eevee-jetter/on-the-topic-of-tess-dawson-and-her-moronic-racist-statements/10152144904847292

          That pouring out a homie is the same as saying HO to a Native American. It is being a dick. THere is no defense of the bullshit she said.

          I haven’t seen this level of bullshit since RA on lj.

          • SHe can also stop trying to be an authority figure in polytheism as well.

            You know, in my experience, most of the so-called “authority figures” in polytheism never try to be so. I certainly didn’t. It’s people like you who attach that baggage to us and what we’re saying. We have opinions, strong opinions, but that doesn’t mean we’re trying to force anything on anyone, NOR COULD WE. So get over it.

            Oh yes, let’s tie ourselves in knots to make what we’re doing not “worship” because worship is somehow a dirty word. Sorry, but when you pour out alcohol in memory of a deceased loved one, that’s ancestor worship. You may cringe at the term, because of your own baggage (most likely from Christianity), but there would be NO POINT to doing such a thing if there wasn’t at least a subconscious assumption that the dead person has some kind of continuing presence after death, and in some way benefits from either the actual alcohol or the symbolic act of making an offering. If you just wanted to pay homage to their memory for the sake of the living who are left behind, there would be much more appropriate and entirely non-religious ways to do that. So the people who do such things may not identify as pagan or polytheist, or think of their actions in the context of ancestor worship, but that IS the basic mechanism at work. And if people who don’t even ascribe to those beliefs still know, in their guts, enough to do right by their dead, we as overt pagans should not be MORE stingy with our tangible offerings.

            • It is not people like me, who attach that label. I do not consider you or anyone else an authority figure. None of you have earned it. What respect I had, you guys have managed to erode.

              However, when you go about being one of the few voices of Caananite and start with this is how it’s done, vs this is how I do it, you make yourself an authority figure. We shall see how this plays out when it comes to people following her and listening to her.

              I shall ink this person, who said it very well. http://roguesareth.wordpress.com/2013/12/23/poverty-piety-and-paganism/#comment-2

              I defined homage, I defined worship. The definitions back up my point that no, pouring out alcohol to those you love is not ancestory worship unless or until you make it as such. It is homage. It is a respectful honoring of someones memory. It is part of grief. Quit trying to conflate shit, just because those of us who speak and honor the dead, do things that look like it.

              Also do not put words in my mouth. I never said worship was a dirty word, that is your baggage and you deal with it. It’s not my problem.

              Tess said some shitty stuff and got called on it. Instead of owning her shitting stuff, the rest of you are poor poor dearing her. That most of you are even agreeing with her. What the hell? no WTF Her latest post of I”m a good person because I do x, doesn’t do shit to negate her shitty post before.

              It was one thing with the whole pop culture debacle. But Tess post flat out disrepects cultures she has no clue about. Last I knew Tess was not a blood, a crip or any other gang member so really has no context in which to say how they honor their loved ones.

              The poverty cracks. Kiss my poor ass. When you have to pay my bills and worry about my shit, then maybe no not even then, you get to bitch about how I give offerings and whether or not I am devout enough. Otherwise, STFU. It aint hers, Galina’s nor your business and yall can see yourselves out of other peoples financial situations unless you are going to do something to help. Otherwise mind your own damn business, cause you have no place to be making any damn comments.

              • Since you’re so keen on dictionary definitions, let’s try another one: AUTHORITY: “the power or right to give orders, make decisions, and enforce obedience.” The only ways one has such power are (1) other people give it to them, or (2) they take it by physical force. Writing things, even very opinionated, one-sided things, on the internet does not make one an “authority.”

                I wouldn’t be commenting on anyone’s financial situation if they didn’t use it to excuse their own lack of piety. It’s one thing to say “I don’t think the gods need/want tangible offerings” – I will argue with that, but it doesn’t need to get personal. However – if you say instead “well sure it would be good to give tangible offerings, but I’m too poor to even share a bite of food with my gods” I will call shenanigans on that bullshit, and yes, I might get a little personal, because no way in hell anyone who has money for the internet and time to write umpteen different posts and comments everywhere does not have the means to share even the smallest portion of food or drink or something else tangible with their gods. Someone living under a bridge could do that, and yes I’ve known people in that situation who still did make offerings.

                And by the way, if you don’t want me to comment on your personal situation, get the fuck off MY blog. You people come to our spaces and bitch and moan, and then complain that we respond. I am not commenting on any non-friend’s blog about this matter. So if you don’t like the heat, stay in your own damn kitchen.

                • From Free online dictionary.
                  a. An accepted source of expert information or advice: a noted authority on birds; a reference book often cited as an authority.
                  and
                  6. A conclusive statement or decision that may be taken as a guide or precedent.
                  7. Power to influence or persuade resulting from knowledge or experience: political observers who acquire authority with age.

                  No you don’t get to comment on others using poverty as to why they can’t do something, because you don’t like their piety. You don’t pay their bills. YOu don’t live their life.

                  Unless of course the rest of us, get to now comment on how you live your life and your piety and how we perceive it may be lacking. Because I am quite sure, there are plenty of bitchy judgements that people can make on your life, that you probably be plenty pissed about. So making judgements on people who do not have your funds and have other obligations and other shit to worry about, is frankly bitchy.

                  Having money for the internet(which may come out of a different budget because it is a need for them) vs money for food(coming out of yet another budget) maybe something different. They may not even be paying for the internet, someone else might be. Frankly you don’t have a damn clue what their financial situation is.

                  It is shitty. It is bitchy. It is poor debate skills, that you can’t find something other than someones personal situation to make a point. It is also assumptive as hell to think that their Deities who you don’t know, even want food and offerings. Smurfette has blogged Bridgette wants not food, or offerings, but for her to make quilts for poor babies Other Gods may have other requirements for their devotees and frankly you don’t know.

                  What you do, is not what others are asked or told, or persuaded, or bugged the hell out to do. I am only speaking for those who have Godphones(that is a different subject)

                  Just because you have a bug up your butt that others need to give cakes and ale, other offerings to show their devotion, does not mean all other Polytheists have to do it. Maybe others may not do any discernable devotion but may LIVE their lives to the standards the Deity wants, or asks.

                  It isn’t your place, because you aren’t living their life. You don’t have their relationship with their Deity. What you do know about how they are doing things is fair outweighed by what you do not know. and bluntly, you guys are acting like her: http://harrypotter.wikia.com/wiki/Dolores_Umbridge

            • Sorry, but when you pour out alcohol in memory of a deceased loved one, that’s ancestor worship. You may cringe at the term, because of your own baggage (most likely from Christianity), but there would be NO POINT to doing such a thing if there wasn’t at least a subconscious assumption that the dead person has some kind of continuing presence after death, and in some way benefits from either the actual alcohol or the symbolic act of making an offering.

              Well, that is something to think about. I still think the more compelling argument is in action versus intent. After all, that’s one of the reasons that some Protestant sects discourage veneration of the dead “outside our hearts”, because they understand the Catholic veneration of Saints and the accepted practise of building shrines to family members as being indistinguishable from worship, which they consider “idolatry” or worse (or so that’s how I understand it).

          • THat pouring a 40 out to a homie is straight up wrong. It is the same as saying, hey you can’t be gay, you don’t talk with a lisp or prance about, or all muslims are terrorists.

            How is that? The comparison you’re drawing here makes no sense. No-where did Tess say “everybody” in certain situations does that –if you think she did, well, citation needed.

            Pouring out some alcohol for someone you love, is usually done by the military people I know. It is not them worshipping, it is them giving homage to the memory of someone they love.

            You’re certainly welcome to split hairs on that, but when it comes to the veneration of ancestors and loved ones, the line between “worship” and “homage” is flimsy. I saw this in Catholicism and how people treated not only saints, but any time a beloved local priest or nun passed on. People still kiss Wilde’s tomb, even though the cemetery wants people to stop. The intent may be “homage”, but in practise, it is virtually indistinguishable from “worship”, and I think that was pretty clearly implied, if you know how to read between the lines.

      • Well said.

        But people, I hate to break it to you, are not the most important thing in the universe. They are not the reason the world exists, and they are not the most important thing to every god and spirit that exists, many of whom existed far before people.

        I really could not put it any better. You and Monty Python

        Helping people is great, much needed, and certainly, for some deities, can be a devotional act. But are we the most important things in the universe? On this planet? Hardly.

    • Pretty fricking spot on.

      Thank you for speaking up.

  10. also hey buddy, my ancestors did not leave food for their gods. my ancestors couldn’t fucking afford to because they were living in mexico or they were living in the us and literally literally being treated like dogs. how can you set aside food for your gods if you cant even feed yourself? stop thinking your ancestors, your history, your life is the same as everybody else’s. i pray that you never walk a day in my shoes because you would give up in a fucking second.

    • Stop using your poverty as an excuse to avoid making proper offerings. I’ve been dirt poor. Hell, i’ve been homeless and you can always make offerings, as many of your ancestors likely did. If you have nothing else, there’s water. Why don’t you just admit, you and everyone else who seem so gung ho to jump on the “stop making offerings” bandwagon, that you just don’t *want* to inconvenience yourself. That’s all it comes down to: people not wanting to inconvenience themselves for their Gods or their ancestors. And the moment one stops thinking about and working toward connection with their ancestors, history, and gods, is the moment they become worthless. utterly.

      • i do give offerings. every day. thanks for assuming/putting words in my mouth? i never said offerings are not important. just that they are not as important as actual living people.

        • Is whining on the internet more important than actual living people? Because for someone who is brought to tears by their suffering, you are spending an awful lot of energy and time yelling about privilege (and I’m willing to bet this isn’t the only place you’re doing it in), which could be better directed toward actual service if that’s what you’re really concerned about. If you really think privilege is so evil, why not give up yours – maybe sacrifice your computer or phone and internet connection and give that money to someone in need. But no! Then who would go around making angry comments on people’s blogs?!

        • I’d suggest ignoring her. It will piss her off more. You have brought up great points, and I personally thank you for doing so.

          The fact the more liberal people who argue about privledge on other stuff, actually can defend that paragraph of Tess’s should tell you this is about ego, and not actually about listening and having a respectful discourse on why this shit is so fucking disrespectful it has left me completely speechless, and shaking.

      • That, and the fact that they don’t really believe in the gods, or the agency of the gods. Because if you do, dire circumstances is when you *most* want to make offerings, because you need Their help.

    • While this is a bit harsh…on some level I agree. In the diaspora traditions food is not left out because, quite honestly, people are poor and they need to eat it. It isn’t selfish. It isn’t just some form of “how dare you?” It is that some cultures are privileged and can afford to pour juice onto the ground. It’s why the “homies with the 40’s” (wow, really? Really?) pour the beer because a 40 is cheap and maybe all they can afford. In my family tradition, food in and of itself is sacrifice because it’s often all anyone had. And speaking so flippantly from a place of privilege is….well, really not on.

      • Hang on, I’ve seen African diasporic ritual. Food is left out. It is part of ebo, sacrifices, given to Orishas and the Egun, among other Beings. Just do a simple Google search. Google brought up quite a number of scholarly articles with just ‘food offerings in african diasporic religion’.

        • Why should I “google search” what I have taken part of in Haiti? Again…that is privilege talking. There’s a difference between seeing photos somewhere, and being somewhere so poor that leaving food out is unheard of. *sigh* Anyway, this isn’t going anywhere.

          • thank you friend your points and discussion has been appreciated. i’m sorry people are so fucking willfully ignorant.

          • *sigh* You assume that your experiences in Haiti reach across the entirety of the African diasporic traditions? You assume that I am coming from a place of privilege by just a few lines, rather than perhaps looking outside of your own experiences? Or perhaps asking a few questions? After I mention I have seen (where I should have written been) in ritual with worshipers of Ifa where food offerings were made?

            Your assumptions are great, and you are part of the problem: using the word privilege as a club.

            Further to the point: I never have had the financial ability to get on a plane or boat and go anywhere. If anything, without the ability to look things up, and to actually see and be in ritual from local Regla de Ocha folks, I would not have been able to see these people in ritual.

            • No, but I take some serious umbrance to being told I have to google my own culture. It would be really REALLY good if one being called on privilege would accept the fact. You jumped it, I called you on it.

              • If you are part of or have experienced one of the African Diasporic traditions, then you’re just one part or have experience of one (or a few if the celebration was mixed religions) of the African Diaspora and your experiences are not universal.

                I do not have to accept anyone’s claim that I am operating from a place of privilege, especially when both my intent and my words were not originating from such a place.

                Asking someone to do a simple Google search or do research is not operating from a place of privilege. It was me assuming from your words that you do not or did not know that other African Diasporic traditions leave food offerings, even in desperately poor countries, and offering one way to find that information. Not an unhealthy assumption, in my view, given what I had to work with and that I do not know you.

                All that said, I’ll stand behind what I said above until I have reason to do so otherwise.

          • Speaking to your experience is great, but speaking as if one’s experience is a universal one, even within a population, is another. If you have an experience that differs from what has been written about, I think a proper response is to ask why, rather than accuse others of knowing nothing. Maybe there are sects that do things differently? Maybe there are, indeed, different practices between classes? Maybe the writers were observing a festival where human consumption is traditionally not done? To assume that you just know all circumstances that has created this difference strikes me as the essence of hubristic.

            You can only speak to your own experiences, but the people who wrote these things were speaking to theirs, as well.

            • Only they weren’t just speaking of their “own experiences” The whole flavour of the thing is “You are a crap worshipper if you don’t do what I think you should do.” And that is my main objection, especially when it is backed up by racist/classist commentary. It’s ironic that people seem to have come full circle and try to turn the argument around.

              • Maybe that’s cos the logic you’re using is inherently circular? No one person speaks for all poor people, so not all of us are going to agree that the comments in question were classist –you can’t just insist that they are “because they are”, and expect to be taken seriously. No one person speaks for all people of colours, so it’s equally doubtful that all will find the reference in question to be racist, and insisting that it is, “cos because” is equally circular –it’s not like Ms Dawson said BIRTH OF A NATION is the most factual portrayal of African Americans ever, she referred to a practice that people actually do, though maybe not in the best way, do you see the inherent difference there? If she’d done the former, that is clearly racist, but she did the latter, which may be problematic, but it’s harder to call it “racist”, especially when there’s a Key & Peele sketch about pretty much the same thing, only hilariously combined with something eerily similar to this conversation (a gang member who winces at libating even part of his 40 on the grounds that he “doesn’t want to waste beer”, and the others call him out as disrespectful). Yes, two Black -identified biracial men doing a comedy sketch is clearly a different context than Ms Dawson blogging, but to say or even suggest that there are objective measures where she portrayed the practise itself less positively than they did is dishonest.

                • miss dawson is white and far, far, far more privileged than poor black people in a bad community. it is called. PRIVILEGE. and as much as you want to ignore it it still freakin exists

                  • Do you have a source on all that? Even if we assume she has some semblance of white privilege, are you seriously telling me that you know the past and present financial situations and neighbourhoods she’s lived in? Mind, my intent in asking is to see if you know, cos I’d find it peculiar if you did.

                    Even if I were to assume that she is, indeed, as privileged as you say, I’m not, except as white. I’ve slept in cemeteries and lived in a welfare hotel in Gary, Indiana; I grew up in one of those “bad neighbourhoods”, and my primary income is $650/month in disability allowance. I may be white, and trans male, and I know that affords me something more than most, but I also know I’ve been pulled over and followed out of town cos I was on my way to a photography job in one of the wealthiest cities in the country (Bloomfield Hills, MI) in a ten-year-old Neon with no front bumper, and I’ve taken out hot cocoa to the prostitutes who hang around the liquor store across the street. If I didn’t live with my best friend, I wouldn’t have a computer (which he built for me on parts of old ones of his), and I wouldn’t be able to afford heat in this ice storm.

                    But guess what? I still make food offerings to my gods. Seldom more than a custard cup’s worth (acquired in a set of four for a dollar at the PTO Thrift Shop), for the whole day, but I find a way to do it. Cos I understand that words like piety and devotion mean things.

                    It’s great that you can recognise that socio-economic privilege can play a role here, but I believe you’re abusing that knowledge in hopes of just shutting down conversation. When Galina, Tess, and Dver are saying “if there’s a will there’s a way”, I stand behind that because in this instance it’s true –if you really wanted to, you’d give what you can to the gods, when you can, and you’d stop using certain truths about your life as an excuse.

                  • i dont care about your personal stories of poverty. i do not care about your hardships. i respect them. i respect your stories. i respect your pain. i do not care, though. have you ever heard of invisible illnesses? the kind that suck the life out of you and make it so that making yourself food is impossible? thats a thing too. a thing i have. i usually eat once a day at the most if im the one making the food. anything else has to be made for me. most days just going downstairs to make cereal is impossible. how can i possibly consider giving food offerings on plates that would go bad and require throwing away and washing when i can barely go to the bathroom some days? my Gods want what is best for me. want what i CAN do. They do not expect what i cannot provide. that is what a healthy relationship is like. i’m sorry if yours isnt like that. you do what you do and i do what i do AND BOTH ARE VALID.

                  • Is your way valid? Possibly, probably, hell if I know. Don’t feel sorry for me and my relationships with anyone; Eros and Apollon and all the rest only expect what I can give, and I don’t think a tablespoon of brown rice or half a pancake from a stack is going to send me into an anorectic state, cos that’s what I can manage. If you have greater disabilities than a low tolerance to any stress, getting distracted while showering, and a spine that looks like a question mark, then why is e-shouting all over a relatively small corner of the pagan blogosphere more important than taking care of your needs? I’m sure your gods want you to manage your abilities and disabilities in the best way you can.

                  • Because speaking up for yourself is imp too. Speaking up and calling out bullshit for what it is, is also imp. It may even be just as imp as giving libations to Gods(even though their practice may not call for it, but sure lets just go on playing the assumption game, it’s working so well right now.)

                  • Don’t you have an hour of the Faux News Stepford Blondes to go schlick over or something?

                  • Nope, it’s Big Bang theory time. Really though, political shaming, because you can’t get me to agree with you via any other venue?

                    smh

                  • n the contrary, it’s because I wholeheartedly believe that anyone who defends Fox News should be ashamed of themselves.

                  • How nice for you. However, since I do not value your thoughts anymore, it really doesn’t affect me in the slightest.

                    Not to mention, that the whole you should be ashamed if you don’t hate fox news, has no logical base. Using this as a basis for picking people to talk to, I guess I should start demeaning people who like mushrooms, because I find them very distasteful. Eye roll.

                  • Uh-huh.

                    http://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2011/11/21/fox-news-viewers-uninformed-npr-listeners-not-poll-suggests/

                  • From snopes, after a minimal google search, it turns out it is false. http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/hoaxes/foxnews.asp

                  • Wow, that doesn’t refer to the study in question AT ALL, but an urban legend about FNC viewers being of dull-normal IQ marks. You’d think your communications classes would’ve taught you that there’s hell of difference between “low IQ” and “ill-informed”.

                  • And the problem with the study that you keep quoting, again after minimal googling.
                    http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/fox-news-slams-professors-ill-informed-viewers-fairleigh-dickinson-328771

                    You should read the second comment.

                  • And that’s barely any different from an editorial. I mean, fuck, they include a Faux News quote that misrepresents the Forbes list of TOP U.S. Colleges so that they can slam the college that took the study.

    • I said our *ancient* ancestors. And yes, ancient polytheistic and animistic peoples always made offerings even in times of dire circumstances – ESPECIALLY in those times – because they knew the gods could help them. As for more recent poverty – if one is truly starving, that is a special situation, then there is something else besides food one can offer – like water if nothing else. But no one protesting this now is starving – because we are all on the internet. If you have internet access and the free time to use it bitching on Tumblr, you are well off enough to set aside a *small* portion of your food or whatever for the gods.

  11. Devotion should not be cast aside in favor of helping human beings any more than helping humans should be cast as the only form of one’s devotion. You are also putting an absolute ton of bull on Dver by claiming to know what Dver has gone through or has not gone through, which is rude at the least. The absolutism here is astounding, as is your over-the-top reaction. I have lived in what was described as ‘Hell’s little half-acre’. I had a crack house kiddie corner to me where kids were used as mules, and a meth lab behind my house and beside us at one point.

    You know what? My family still made time to go to church. Pagans can give offerings inside their own home, or wherever they happen to be in a given moment. I have poured water onto a city street to thank the spirit of that city for helping me find my way, and alcohol onto my family tree for thanks to the landvaettir for a good home and food in my belly. If you aren’t absolutely starving and actively looking for food, and even then you can at least give a prayer, then you can give an offering. I have starved so my son and fiancee could eat. We still made offerings. Sometimes it has been only water, sometimes it has been food we made for our family, and sometimes it has been something special I bought just for Them.

    Your role that the Gods have for you may be that you are to focus on humanity. However, to mistake what may well be your role for /everyone’s/ role is presumptive at best and hubris at worse, putting words and calls out there in place of the Gods.

    Devotion is not just important; devotion is VITAL. It is how a living, breathing religion continues. Acts of devotion keep that bridge between us and the Gods alive in our everyday life, whether it is a glass of water and a prayer, prayers made on prayer beads, food made in their honor, or an act of kindness for a human being.

    I put the Gods first because that is where They go in my life. The Gods are first; it is from Them that all good things in my life have come. My everyday (well, night) job is about helping a human being. The reason I can serve this human being is because They gave me life, a good family, a wonderful son, and so many blessings were I to count them all I would be dead and buried long before I finished. So my first attention, my first devotion, is to my Gods. It must be, in good Gebo for all They have done, and continue to do for me, with me, to me. Hail to the Gods.

    • Well said, thank you. I do see this a lot – people finding a path (like serving other humans) and then assuming that everyone must follow it. I certainly don’t assume that everyone must give over everything in their lives to the gods, like I have, it’s merely *my path*. Helping other people is a good and noble thing to do, but it’s not the MOST or ONLY good and noble thing.

      I do not understand the insistence that people are more important than anything else in the world or outside of it. But on a practical level, even if they are, certainly making offerings to these immortal, powerful beings who can influence our lives so directly would be a good idea? It’s like saying, I need a raise, but I’m more important than my boss so I’m just going to tell him to fuck off. As you say, it is from Them that all good things have come.

      • Thank you Dver.

        It is the assumption that people find a path and others must follow it, that people accuse people like you, Galina, and others on, but I do not see it.

        I don’t understand how many times you all have to write statements that approximate “Your mileage may vary” and “this my path/journey/religion/observances/beliefs” on your own damn blog before people get it. It’s like folks cannot be bothered to read the About Me section or use reading comprehension. Generalized and blanket statements are needed because they give a way of en masse addressing an issue, thought, or group of things. Can they lead to erasure? Sure, intentionally and unintentionally.

        However, if we are asking about standards of practice we have to hold those lines, and when those lines are not held, we have to ask why, and when the answers are wanting, hold others accountable. Generalities, much like guidelines, exist to help people understand the boundaries of relationship, and in this case Tess suggested that those start with unknown Gods or Goddesses in NOT eating offerings as that would be completely rude to a great many. I found this suggestion more a suggestion of prudence; it is far better, in my view, to be told “You can eat My offerings.” as opposed to “Why are you eating My offerings?

        • Your last paragraph contradicts this phrase “this my path/journey/religion/observances/beliefs”

          No, standards do not have to be met. No, you don’t get to hold others accountable. If they don’t have the standards you find acceptable, dont’ work with them, but otherwise it is not your concern.

          • So my journey, path, tradition, etc. cannot have standards to meet? We cannot hold people, even if they are on different paths to standards of decency, piety, etc.?

            I find this hard to swallow, to say the least.

            If this was true then Ms. Dawson’s post, responses to this one, and so on, would not have blown up as they have. Others do hold people to their own standards even if they do not share their particular communities.

            One of the particular complaints lodged against Ms. Dawson is that the question she posed at the beginning of her article was that the God in particular that had been asked about was Serapis, and when she addressed the question in a more general way rather than the accepted Kemetic polytheist one she has been rebuked for it. Kemetic polytheists had standards that they wanted held for the question as asked. My words above are not having it both ways when this, in particular, is what the entire back-and-forth has been about.

            You can have an individual journey while still holding to community standards. Your community may have unrealistic standards, or they may be common practice, and because of your particular journey, relationship(s), etc. these may be more or less effective as guidelines and standards for you to meet.

            Regardless of one’s circumstances, I believe standards and guidelines need to be there to establish boundaries so that understanding can be attained, relationships deepened, and so on. I do not expect people starkly new to polytheism to parse their relationship with the Gods completely on their own; if they choose to that is fine, but having some guidelines and expectations for them is neither intrusive nor is it out of the question. Having standards as different communities is completely acceptable to me, as is holding others to them when they violate those standards, particularly when these standards, guidelines, etc. are about your own Gods, Ancestors, and/or spirits.

            If someone comes to me and says “I am a polytheist” those words need to have meaning, and that meaning is bound up not only in what one believes, but what one does and the context of both those beliefs and actions.

            For instance, I know jack-all about Canaanite polytheism, and were I to try to start a relationship with a God or Goddess from this culture, I would be looking Canaanite polytheists to help me establish and keep a good relationship with Them. If I started offering, say, Diet Coke rather than good, clean water, I could very well be in bad standing in the relationship, and this would be my fault because I am not meeting the expectations the Gods have, which, had I done my research, asked questions, or asked the Gods, I could have avoided. Community boundaries and standards can help to keep us in good standing with the Gods, most especially when we are starkly new to exploring our relationship(s) with Them.

            • We do not have a community. We do not have accepted rules. We do not have accepted laws. We have a bunch of people, some of which agree, and others that do not.

              Many Polytheists can figure out if they are in good standing with the Gods or not. If they can’ there are diviners(some questionable, some good, some in between, and frankly buyer beware there), there are ways that some have shown that discernment worked for them.

              You, Dver, and others do not get to decide if I am in good standing with my Gods. If I am not, it may have little to do with whether or not I am giving offerings. Also for me the Gods are not hierarchical, they are a personal relationship for me, so placating is not necessarily what is needed. Your standards do not meet up with my practices.

              If however you have a kindred, a coven, or a group and people in that group do not adhere to your standards you may have a point. However, if what I do for worship does not meet with your approval tough tiddlywinks. If what Aubs tea does for worship does not meet with your approval, again what bloody business is it of yours? It’s between her and the Gods she is in a devotional relationship with.

              YOu talk about boundaries, but yet fail to see, and I may add are being blatantly obtuse about it, how you are encroaching on others boundaries. Why do you get to demand “standards” from others devotions? Is Roguesareth(one of the people I linked) or Aubs tea of mystical bewilderment relationship with their Gods and spirits yours? What right do you have to demand they adhere to standards you find imp? These are the blatant boundaries you are encroaching.

              • The idea that there are no community standards whatsoever, except maybe to particular individual groups is the very definition of fluffy paganism.

              • I think you are making this personal when it does not need to be.

                All I have written is that I view that boundaries and standards can help us be in right relationship with the Gods. Nowhere have I taken away, nor have suggested, anyone’s personal autonomy or person agency be taken from them.

                However, I have every right to decide if you are actually practicing polytheism or not. I reserve the right to decide what I view as as piety or profanity, as good or ill. I also reserve the right to call people out if I feel they are being impious, or pious, good or ill, especially as it relates to being a polytheist. Like it or not, I have standards. You don’t have to meet them; you’re not my student, you’re not my child, you’re not part of my physical community.

                However, if you call yourself a polytheist and put something out there I do not agree with I have every right to call you on it, and I exercise that right freely. My views are of limited influence, I grant you. I could be totally wrong in calling someone out (i.e. I am incorrect about a ritual practice, have the wrong information on a God, etc.) and if I am, I will own that. However, were I not to speak up and exercise my right, and what I view as part of my duty to speak, I would be doing a disservice to the communities I serve, to myself, and to my Gods, Ancestors, and spirits.

                Again, I ask why basic standards (even baseline ones like piety, respect for the Gods, giving of simple offerings) are strained against with such fervor? Polytheists DO hold others accountable, as I noted above, to their own standards, community and otherwise.

                Why can we not hold others not on the same path as ours to baseline standards?

                • It’s fluffy paganism, all over again. There are no rules, no traditions, and “godphones” are valid “because s/he [mortal] said so”, and not because of confirmed gnosis shared with others.

                  Just because someone isn’t preaching “love and light” doesn’t make their approach less fluffy. “Fluffy” means soft, fuzzy, lightweight, and yielding to almost any whim. Fluff has no discernible shape –it’s not really spherical, it’s impossible to put into a truly cubed form, and even rolling it into cylinders is a task that never truly gets accomplished, because the fuzz around the edges won’t keep the lines. Fluff has so little weight to volume that you could probably fill a thousand pages of it with what denser ideas would contain to a pamphlet. It’s so yielding that it can take just about any nonsense you throw at it, and it’s still fluff.

                  This is no different than the “Wicca is whatever you want it to be!” nonsense from the 1990s, only in the guise of “polytheism” this time around.

                  • You had no control over Wicca in the 90’s and you don’t have any control here. Polytheism means belief in many Gods, it does not mean, you must give offerings to stay pious. That is between you and your Gods.

                    It doesn’t make it fluffy, it makes it reality.

                    If you think you can sit there and yell standards, and you are being fluffy, then it proves this is about ego and control. News flash you have no control.

                    News flash there is no community for Polytheists. THere is a kindaish one for Asatru(no central authority), there is a kindaish one for Hellenics(no central authority) there is a kindaish one for Kemetics(and Kemetics are mixed and again last I saw no central authority). You “STANDARDS” are not applicable.

                    Another newsflash. Polytheists come in many flavors. Hard, soft, and very UPG centered. Not everyone is hardline recon or frankly gives a damn if their UPG matches up to PPG. Your standards again are not applicable because again you have no control over them. For many of them, like solitary Wiccans it is between them and who they worship.

                    They don’t have to do it they way you do. They don’t have to meet up to your standards. Your approval is not required, nor frankly do I see any of the Polytheists who are writing the hell no essays, was it asked for.

                    As for the rest of your nonsense… The report that showed the study, showed the questions, who did the study, and what was wrong with it. Yeah they added a quote from FNC(big whoop) the bigger news agencies would have as well. The study was flawed.

                  • Speaking of nonsense, if it takes one to know one….

                  • You know what Ruadhan, quit trying to continue a fight we had personally, that you decided you didn’t want to do anymore. You did this in Jason’s post and you are doing it here.

                    If you want to fight, you know how to get ahold of me privately. Otherwise, talk to my hand.

                  • Yeah, I can’t *possibly* have any other reason to think you’re talking complete crap other than some unrelated nonsense on Teh FarceBorg a couple months ago. [eyeroll] And here I thought Carly Simon was singing about me.

              • If our approval is not required, if you truly believe we have no control, then why do you care so much? Why have you written 14 comments on my blog alone? Why are you all so scared that we’re somehow going to “force” our way on others? You’re right, we have no power – other than the power people give us by taking our opinions seriously. If you really, truly did not care what we think and did not feel at all threatened by our views, you would just shrug and ignore us and go back to what you’re doing. Which is how I react every time I see nonsense spouted on some Tumblr blog that I disagree with, even stuff that deeply offends me. Because I know they don’t matter and they can’t affect me.

                • No I would not. Because by not saying something, then I let the stuff stand, ergo agreeing. By arguing, I let my dissenting voice be heard. If my dissenting voice is out there, then someone can see it, and maybe just maybe, it empowers them.

                  Arguing, and tilting at windmills is also a devotional thing for me. It is a duty.

                  YOu make assumptions about my personality, what and how I hold things dear, whether I fear anything. You have yet to ask questions. That would help a whole hell of a lot. Then again, you didn’t really listen to the other detractors either.

                  Maybe the tone would have been a lot more civil, if y’all didn’t act like you are some appointed clergy and the rest of the Polytheists are your laity to order about.

                  • Of all the complete crap I’ve seen people try to justify on religious grounds, this has to take the cake. You’re like that (then) sixteen-year-old boy who was writing that Tim Alexander fan-fic, “War of the Gods”, or whatever he was calling it. Actually, he’s still more ridiculous, but you’re certainly next in line for the crown, fluffnutter.

                • Oh and I”m sorry to hear about the relationship. ( I don’t know which one, I am offering my sympathy)

              • Again, I think you are making this needlessly personal and heated.

                You’re absolutely right, the dictionary definition of polytheism is belief in many Gods. That belief is required to BE a polytheist. If that were all I believed was required of a polytheist I would end all of my writing on the subject there. I don’t think belief is the only thing required of a polytheist. You don’t have to accept this notion from me any more than I have to believe that belief is the only thing required of a polytheist. Plenty of people don’t do the things required or thought required of them despite there being a need or expectation. I suppose this subject is no different.

                The measure of piety is determined by the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits, this is true, but community wisdom is gained because there are people who have helped determine what is and is not right action, offerings, etc. Given enough time, experience, understanding, a community can be a damned good gauge against which to determine whether or not an action is pious, understood to be acceptable, taboo, etc. There’s a reason there is a great deal of taking apart and looking critically at the lore, archeology, linguistics, etc. in polytheism. That is because a great deal of information can be gained by doing it, not the least of which would be the offering formula that some Kemetics came forward with. Even putting aside hunting through the lore, communities are valuable because they can, and often are, reservoirs of experience and wisdom.

                I’m not sitting here yelling “STANDARDS” at people. I am explaining what I believe should be commonly accepted practices of respect within polytheism at large without getting into the nitty gritty because that would assumptive that I know better than what the priests, diviners, etc. of those communities know. I don’t. However, I do know that as a polytheist who actively worships Gods and Goddesses of a few different cultures that there are some things that work as offerings across-the-board in my experience and from what research I have done. Water and food seem to be the number one offerings, and while the kind of food may differ culture to culture, what one has available, etc. giving offerings seems to be damned near universal. Even with the offering formula, the carvings are still offering food to the Gods.

                Your issue here seems to be about issues of authority and control, whereas mine is about having standards of polytheist practice. There is no authority of mine required, only that I see an issue I believe should be addressed. I believe that people ought to be able to hold one another accountable, whether that is polytheists who have no oaths to the Gods such as those of priesthood, or priests themselves. I think that the lack of standards contributes to the ‘anything goes’ mentality which provides little help for those starting off, and most especially for those seeking other people with which to worship.

                If standards of conduct were not needed there would have been no need for many Pagan publications to say that ‘if a person requires them to have sex with you to enter the coven turn and walk away’. There would have been no need for the layout of a coven to be needing explanation or ‘here is what to expect’ in terms of belief, theology, ideals, etc. Yet Wicca did, and had a lot of people spend quite a bit of digital and physical ink describing these things so that, especially new people, knew what to expect. Standards are there so people can be in good relation with their Gods, yes, but they are also there so people can be safe.

                Not everyone needs to be hardline recon, hard polytheist, etc. for standards to be discussed and agreed upon within polytheist communities. Just some simple guidelines would not kill people. Things like to be a polytheist you must 1) believe in the Gods as real. As to what is required of a polytheist the agreement could be on something baseline and simple like 1) treat the Gods with respect, 2) whatever you offer it must be accepted by Them as a respectful offering, whether by Their word, omen, tradition, etc. I don’t see the problem with this. I don’t see the overreach here, nor what precise autonomy any tradition or individual would give up by saying “Okay, I accept this.” There’s no need for a central authority. There’s no need to even bring it up. Although, if you cannot even accept these ideas I really have to wonder what the hell you’re doing, and if it can even be described as polytheism.

                This isn’t even about UPG or PPG or what-have-you, this is about basic interaction with the Gods, and what should be considered acceptable by polytheists in general. This started off with the question of ‘what should be baseline acceptable offerings with Gods I do not know?’ Someone asked a question and someone provided an answer, and several people disagreed with it. So far as I know the Gods have not struck anyone dead.

                I don’t see the people who wrote these ‘hell no’ essays being asked the same question as Ms. Dawson, and if they were, I did not see them answering it on my reader feed. It might be that I missed it, or the person just is not on my feed yet. I am, however, thankful that some wrote about what one can do in the proper context of their tradition, what is acceptable as ritual actions with offerings, and so on. Some of these folks I’ve followed, and some I’ve been shown as the circles from this have radiated outward.

                • There is no larger community. There are no standards to being a Polytheist. If we take the more known and accepted Polytheists, Hellenic and Asatru, they have differing practices. However that doesn’t make them the only Polytheists. THere are others who are not as well known, who are just as much Polytheists and who don’t take the hard line recon route.

                  You keep saying community like one exists. My areas local kindred is a community. They help each other out. What affects one will affect them. letting someone in with strange wyrd will affect them. That is a community. A bunch of people disagreeing on the internet, who do no help pay my bills, try to make my kids happy, or call me to make sure I am ok, do not make a community.

                  It is one thing, if I were to say that Morrigan were a pink faery, that hated war and wanted nothing but peace. Yeah call me out, you have the sources to do so. It is quite another if you demand how I give devotion to my Gods and think you have the right to call me out, because I don’t do it to your standards. Yeah I take that personally.

                  You know who else took it personally, Galina, when the Heathen community didn’t like what she did. When they argued against her, because she was going against their standards. Do you really want to continue arguing standards? Because I’m sure there are good arguments that can be made against God spousery, and many other things that people who are not part of the more accepted form of Polytheists do, that go against “standards”.

                  The whole standard thing is a double edged sword. If you are going to take that route, I highly suggest you take a long hard look at the loopholes you are subjecting yourself to.

                  Loki doesn’t have a whole lot of lore. UPG is a lot more imp on than ancient lore that doesn’t exist. Cernunnos again doesn’t have a lot of lore either. So looking at archaeology isn’t going to help a whole lot is it? Not to mention, I frankly trust My Gods word on stuff more than I trust humans take on it. You, Galina, or anyone else do not trump my Gods.

                  And that frankly could be a bit more civil discourse, IF and I mean IF you and others who are defending Tess, took a good hard look at what people are really angry about. It isn’t you are doing offerings wrong imho. It is the insult against people in poverty and the racist statements, that is really generating most of the anger. I’ve seen your comments above and they certainly as heck weren’t as civil as this. THat is the largest amount of where the anger is coming from.

                  You want a civil discourse on standards and whether you guys have the right to enforce it, address the first one first. Address the insults that Tess had in her second post.

  12. Well said, Sarenth. I couldn’t have put it better.

  13. Yes, thank you. Hail to the Gods!

  14. […] From norestdear: […]

  15. […] was brought to a very sharp point recently when Dver wrote the following post with the title/subject line “For Polytheists,” and had this to say at the […]

  16. […] people into giving offerings because they can afford food. And of course, Dver kept it classy by defending Tess’s racial statements and then proceeded to bitch at a Latina for having an opinion before she and her cronies bitched […]

  17. […] so apparently talking about sacrifice is a bit of a thing in one of the super-tiny microworlds to which I pay some attention. I have […]

  18. […] people into giving offerings because they can afford food. And of course, Dver kept it classy by defending Tess’s racial statements and then proceeded to bitch at a Latina for having an opinion before she and her […]

  19. I enjoyed reading your post and normally I don’t comment when I have nothing deeper then ‘I agree’ or ‘that was well said!’ but I also have a habit of reading all comments to posts I read. About a third of the way down a headache started to form. Is sacrifice truly This big of a controversy? I mean the example sacrifice in your post was a fricken juice box, and so many of the comments can only be described as venomous.

    • It is not the sacrifice that is the controversy. It is the personal judgements that are, if you don’t do it someone’s way. I don’t know your financial situation, so for you a juice box may be nothing. To me, Aubs tea and rouguesareth, it is though. I get a very limited amount a month. Normally I can supplement that in other ways, but right now I can’t. My other money is budgeted to other things, and things are very tight. That juicebox is a sacrifice, and one I’d give to my kids first.

  20. Tap Water. Your cadre apparently objects to offering *anything* including tap water. You can’t afford a juice box, fine. Neither could I at one point but you can turn on the faucet and offer a glass of tap water but no, that’s too much effort too; and that speaks volumes.

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