I am not immune to doubt

I want to write about this because it’s a realization that I keep realizing all over again, and each time it seems like a revelation while at the same time feeling like a no-brainer. I also want to write about it because even after having been on this path for as long as I have I do keep realizing it all over again. Now, typing “having been on this path for as long as I have” makes me feel like I’m putting on airs, which I’m sincerely not trying to do. But: I’ve been pagan for over two decades, and I’ve been devoted to Poseidon for just about two decades, and I’ve been devoted to Pops for thirteen and I gave marriage vows to Poseidon twelve years ago. So, it’s not a whole long lifetime yet, but it’s also nothing to sneeze at either. These things have shaped the core of my life, and they are part of my every day awareness and engagement with living my life. It’s not nothing.

And still doubt creeps in. Not of Them, not even of Their place in my life, or the shape of my life. Doubt comes in primarily when I read about what other people are doing, what their offering , what shape their lives are taking. I was privy to a written devotion to Poseidon, written by someone else (to keep this suitably vague) similar in idea to writing devotions I’ve done for Him since the very beginning. When I compare and contrast, I never seem to get to count things such as this being one of the constant sorts of devotional acts I’ve performed for/with Him since the beginning. (It’s also never about one-upmanship. It’s not as though I’m tallying the years and deciding I’m better.) The way this other person’s written devotion looks is different than mine, but then that should be a given. Except, in my head, it’s not. In my head, this person is more articulate, better informed, more concerned with things outside of themselves, and so on. I am narrowly focused, self-centered, self-involved, and selfish. All these things — which in and of themselves I think are important characteristics, at least to a point (because we are conditioned to give and give and give, and also to accept what our wants, needs, and interests should be without being encouraged to discover what our wants, needs, and interests actually are) — suddenly are the worst possible examples of introspection, and I’m wretched and horrid, and how do I even call myself His when I’m just so small minded?

Never mind that such thoughts are not a true reflection of the content of my written devotions. Never mind that they run the gamut from formal and articulated to intimate, sloppy, and, at times, incoherent.

This isn’t a contest. No one can give form to the relationship/s you have with the Powers better than you can — it’s your relationship. No one can perform your devotional acts better than you can. It is your heart that must be in them, it is your presence that must be with Them, it is your path. It is your path. Even when it’s sloppy and messy and incoherent. Even when you’d rather drop it all and go. Even when it’s an uphill battle. Even when you feel like your swimming through thick soup.

Comparing ourselves to what others are doing is useful as a tool of reflection and consideration. It’s useful as a source of inspiration.  Once it becomes a weapon set to inflict self-harm it needs to be let go.

And, because it’s so important: the fact that you are however far along your path as you are and that you may be experiencing any form of doubt is normal. Do not add that to the arsenal of self-harm. Let yourself be, let yourself experience the doubt . . . and then keep going.

A few things

First: I want to thank people for responding to my post on consent and the nature of the gods’. The comments have been incredibly thought-provoking and are helping me pin down my thoughts on the subject. (So far, it seems to be: consent as the issue is secondary to my concerns; the ability to speak of experiences without being shamed into silence is the more pressing matter. More on this once I get things more articulated because writing about them helps me process.) I’m sorry it takes me a while to get back to comments, but that’s not likely to change so please know that if I don’t respond for days, it’s not you, it’s me. ;-)

Second: Holy crow, it’s almost July! For me this means that the Vigil for the Bulls is almost upon me. This is a time during which I sit with Poseidon and share the smallest bit of His Holy Grief. It’s an ordeal-focused observance, but He defines each year what that ordeal will be. So far they’ve run the gamut of physical ordeals to spiritual ones, and they are never, ever the way I except them to be, so even if I have an idea of the type it’ll be, it’s never what I think it will be. And that alone is pretty awesome, in the original meaning of the word. I’ve finally reached a place where I can take the second part of the vigil off, which means I’ll get to observe the Funerary Rites that I’ve been intending to incorporate in a way more in line with how I’ve wanted to.

I’m picking up The Power of the Bull for some thematic reading, though I suspect I’ll be annoyed before long and stop reading it pretty quickly, as always happens when I pick this book up.

Which brings me to the third thing: Once the 6th gets here I’ll be posting a bit, but it’s going to be a while before I get to comments. Again, please assume that this is a lack of time on my end and not my ignoring you, etc.

Fourth: holy crow it’s almost July!

Pre-Order Announcement: Worshiping Loki – A Short Introduction

Jolene Poseidonae:

I cannot wait to have my copy in my greedy graspy hands!

Originally posted on Coffee at Midnight Designs:

Today is a most auspicious day for the release of a new book. Worshiping Loki: A Short Introduction contains guidelines for building a fulfilling practice of Loki worship in a polytheistic context.

lokibook1Presenting material derived from experience and practice, this book sets aside arguments of historicity to provide today’s curious practitioner with practical, applicable information that can be put to work right away. Extending hospitality, building an alter, making offerings, saying prayers, and deepening practice are all covered. Discernment exercises are also provided to help enrich one’s contact with the divine. This slim 18 page volume is comparable to the devotional volumes I offer through Etsy, and extra special book making materials have been chosen to further distinguish this edition.lokibook2This very special volume is being released in limited numbers. 20 signed and numbered volumes are being issued for sale at $45 each. This batch of books will also be…

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Questions of Consent and Problematic Lore

(Originally this was to be a response to a comment, but, er, well, it sort of took on a life of its own, and viola, a blog post was born. Thank you, Poppy, for the inspiration. Also note: the you in all this is general you, and I’m using Odin as an example both because He’s one of the two I’m involved with and because He is one of the ones whose name comes up a lot re: abusive gods)

What makes navigating these waters so difficult, at least to my thinking is: how do we judge Them? Do we judge Them as human, in terms of the boundaries we set up and defend, in terms of the cultural mores that we apply to Them or demand They stick to, in terms of the very language we use when talking about our experiences with Them? Ultimately, this is a decision that we each have to make on our own. For me, I don’t expect the Powers to act as if They were human, and humanity is so much not the center of my relationship with Them that it ends up being a non-issue. (The well-being of my tribe is closer to the center, and my tribe is made up mostly of not-humans, so that colors the way I see the world).

I don’t expect either Odin nor Poseidon (nor any of the others I interact with) to pretend to be human, or to have values that line up with my cultural values, etc. However, I do expect Them to have experience with humanity at large, to understand that cultural mores differ in time and in place, to understand the advancement (and the desire for) equality between people across gender lines, racial lines, and all the other lines that there may be. It has always been wrong for any people to be treated as less than real people based on any of this things – I’ll use women and slaves as examples because they are examples that seem to span time and country, or possibly because Hellas is never far from my mind – but it’s more wrong now to treat people as inferior to another group of people because we’re less willing to allow that to go unchecked. (Though how less willing seems to depend upon the group in question) and I do expect my gods to be sophisticated enough to understand these changes and to get on board. Likewise, I expect Them to understand the concept of consent.

When I accepted Odin into my life, when I offered Him vows of life-long commitment, when He adopted me into His Family, I knew things were going to change. I went in wide-eyed and aware. I’d read bits of His lore (the Volsunga Saga especially stood out; THAT is how HIS CHOSEN are treated by Him??!) and I’d interacted with people, both online and off who shared experiences with Him. It’s not like I went in expecting easy street. The physical world changes were hard enough. “Oh, no, this relationship will not do for you. And I’d rather you live elsewhere. Really this whole thing is set up for you to keep on maintaining this way of being that is slowly killing you; I demand you fulfill your calling and damn the consequences.” In a matter of months, I’d ended a near-decade long relationship, moved even further from everyone I knew and loved, and was unemployed for the better part of a whole year. Except for my gods and my dog, my life looked nothing like it had before Odin named me daughter.

The mental and emotional and spiritual changes? So, I had these boundaries, see. One of my biggest boundaries was staying in control of me. I liked and desired reason and logic and order and just . . . neat tidiness. And, above all, cool detachment. No messy confrontations. No reason to draw attention to my person. I clung to those boundaries . . . and Odin systematically crossed each one, destroying it in His wake. These were firm boundaries; they were boundaries I was sure that I wanted to remain intact, these were situations I was sure I did not want to be in, etc., and He paid them no mind whatsoever.

Except, I didn’t really want them. And it makes it sound romantic to say it that way, right? I was as if two people at that point in my life, torn between two different ways of having a life. I was all the conditioning and programming and learned behaviors of a girl brought up in an alcoholic home, expected to take care of people, with that ever-present savior complex that children growing up in addictive and/or abusive homes tend to develop. I was trained thoroughly to not make waves, to not fight, to do what I’d rather not do, to cannibalize myself rather than cause anyone else any undue stress or hardship.

I was also a young woman thoroughly, thoroughly in love with my God and well on my way to being thoroughly in love with Another. I’d caught glimpses of what life might be like, immersed in devotion, in study, in prayer. I saw that these glimpses of understanding – that the division between the Worlds is but an illusion – and I realized that I could live my life as if that division did not exist. I wanted that so badly, and never would have sought it on my own. Odin did drag me kicking and screaming at times, and He disregarded a lot of my “No, that’s too far,” no’s . . . and I’m grateful He did. I like to say that He ignored my denials for the acquiescence of my soul, that the same bit of me that reached out for Poseidon those many years ago was the same bit that was saying, “Ignore her noise; we need this, please don’t stop pushing.”

I’ll admit: when people talk about the Powers abusing them, harassing them, ignoring consent, doing more harm than good, I always know a minute’s pause. Generally it seems to be Odin or Loki they’re talking about (the people whose experiences I wind up hearing about; I’m not saying it’s only those Two) and I’ll admit that when people talk about Odin harming them, I wonder: is it truly Odin? My experience with Pops tells me that He is a smart, sophisticated, powerful shaman and king and god. He tore my life apart, and a large portion of it was grueling, but even through it all I can trace the path to my well-being, to my ultimate healing, to my being empowered, to becoming a being who can function in this world, who can navigate the Worlds and deal with the complexity of switching between realities at need. Do I think Odin is altruistic? Fuck no. I can see how I serve Him in my life, in my living, and how my ability to serve Him was made better by the work w/We did together. I’m not an idiot. But I benefited from His actions tremendously, and having gone through it, I would not change a single thing about it. Even though I was angry and afraid and upset for a long time. Even with the understanding that we don’t all experience the same relationships with the Powers the same way, even with the understanding that the Gods may not exist in a chronological way like we do (therefore the Odin someone else is interacting with may be a younger version of Odin than the one I interact with, with an Odin who may not have gone through a number of His own Initiations yet, who might still be brash and reckless and whatnot) wrapping my head around the idea that Odin could truly, truly, truly disregard consent, could be cold and cruel and horrid without any ulterior goal in mind that justify the means, is problematic and difficult, and I do tend to decide “that’s not really Odin.”

But, even if we allow that one particular god may have different Faces and Hats, and even if we allow that the gods are not pinned down by linear existence like we are, and even if we allow that the stories we’ve heard of them may be bullshit, and even if we allow that one god might slip into the name of another (I suspect this with Poseidon and Zeus and Hades, for the record; that They play loosey-goosey with Each Other’s names), and even if we allow that less friendly to humanity, more predatory beings may respond when we think we’re dealing with a god or benevolent spirit, at no point is it useful or helpful or even my place to decide “That’s not really Odin.” Because whether it is Odin, or whether it is an Odin, or whether it’s Loki playing Odin or whether it’s a bottom feeder responding to ‘Odin’, your experience is that Odin showed up, did these horrible things, disregarded your will, disrespected your boundaries, and caused you both hurt and harm. Doing anything less than allowing a space for these stories, and doing anything less than addressing that this is a problem and needs to be acknowledged, is wrong.

There’s a certain amount of mental awareness and a willingness to take long, hard looks at ourselves when going forward in these relationships. There’s a certain need to be able to really know where our boundaries are. For some people that’s going to be easy. For others, it’s really not. I suspect that a lot of my initial crap would have been helped with the aid of a therapist, but I was lucky to have a great support network, and I was lucky in that my mind is one that loves to poke and prod and dig deep. I’m introspective by nature. The idea that part of me could really, really, really want something while part of me could really, really, really want the direct opposite of something was easy enough to swallow.

My working rule of thumb when it comes to me, when it comes to my interactions with my gods, and when it comes to consent is: does Their disregarding of my will serve to better me as a person, not just in Their terms, but in my own? Because, They are Powers, They are Gods, and it is possible that They know better than me. The reason They even get this leeway is because They have already proven that They are trustworthy. This is key, this is something that you only get through experience, and this is something we need to maybe talk about more. The Powers are not trustworthy just because of whatever name we call Them by. Odin and Poseidon are allowed to have the ultimate say about things in my life because I trust that They will not abuse that power, and I trust that They will not abuse that power because so far They never have. There is an underlying choice every day, and really with every situation that ever comes up, to grant consent to give up my consent, and it’s understood that this is a daily, sometimes hourly choice on my part that I could revoke at any time. If you are starting out with trust non-existent because there hasn’t been time yet to build it, or because it’s been broken, you are not obligated to continue contact. You are not obligated to not fight for your right to be treated in a particular way. You are not obligated to be a doormat, or a punching bag.

We are obligated, though, to know how far we’re willing to be pushed – because for all that They are sophisticated, powerful beings, They are not human. They’re not even mortal. They do have experience with humanity, so They may have some idea of what we can withstand, but They are also not you, and you ultimately are responsible for knowing your boundaries, your mind, your will, and your limitations. Which a lot of us don’t know right out the gate, and it can be messy – so it’s important to know how messy is too messy. Poseidon in particular has always stressed that I am carrying o/Our relationship in this world, and so this world parts are my responsibility. We’re not equal by any means, but we have equal say in our relationship, and that’s true of me with Pops as well, and I think it’s necessary – at least, unless giving up that equal say is part of your path, but that goes back to consent and the ability to say no, and to have our saying no seen as a respectable choice of will, of agency.

What of the lore? How do we reconcile the Odin so many of us experience – shaman, healer, vested interest in humanity in general and various people in particular – with Odin of the lore who abandons His own, embodies horrid, misogynistic tendencies, and is deplorable at times? How do we reconcile any number of the gods with Their various rape stories, while striving to shake off the rape culture from our polytheistic culture? My advice: drop the lore.

When Poseidon first showed up, I was 16 and I was not interested at all in Hellenic anything. The only thing I knew about Him beyond His being a sea god, were the rape stories. Medusa. Demeter. There are others. I was a broken thing, stretched to my limits and beyond, half-mad and ready to walk out into the water and just be done with it all. He was gentle and kind and, most importantly, He set me free. He gave me hope, He showed me love. He offered me a way to keep living, and He promised nourishment. I was not a polytheist when He showed up; I wouldn’t be for another year or so, but He stayed with me anyway, and He was good. He was gentle and He was patient and He was kind. I was never, ever afraid of Him. I’ve never been afraid of Him, not in a mortal way. In holy Awe of Him, yes, but that’s expected.

I refused to study any of the Hellenic source material until after o/Our relationship was on firm footing. (Really, I didn’t study any of the Hellenic stuff until I’d started studying the Heathen stuff, and Poseidon decided it was time). I purposefully did not study it because I did not want it coloring our relationship. They said He was a rapist. That wasn’t part of how I knew Him, and I wanted to know Him on His own merits.

The stories are written by people. They were written with agendas beyond telling a history of our gods – as if we have access to Their history, as if we can ever know Them beyond what They are willing to share with us. They have limitations to their usefulness. They are not scripture. They are not gospel. We are not a people of a book, and we need to stop acting like we are. If the lore does not line up with what you are experiencing with a god or a power, ditch the lore. The yard stick needs to be: is the Power helping you become a better person as you define it. The experience need not make you feel happy (doing things that make you happy does not always make you feel happy, as Gretchen Ruben says). If the lore is not a useful tool for you, get rid of it. If you don’t want to drop it, then for the love all that is holy, apply context. Commit to a critical reading of it, and never forget that it was never meant to be gospel, that – especially within the Heathen lore – many of the writers had agendas that had nothing to do with respect for our gods, and that some of them really, really had a hate on for some of the Gods. (I’m looking at you, Saxo.)

Nametags, Pronouns, and Lifting the Burden

Jolene Poseidonae:

Reblogging because.

Originally posted on It Doesn't Have to Be This Way:

Wintertime, about a week before I was to begin physical transition, I was at a Quaker retreat. At this point in time, folks who didn’t know me consistently and incorrectly presumed I was a cisgender woman, much to my dismay. This is a product of our cis-normative society, cis-normative meaning that everyone is presumed to be cisgender until proven otherwise, and those of us who fall outside the norm are left with the burden of claiming our existence (which is one of the themes of my writings here).

I was particularly cognizant of this burden when we were doing introductions at the beginning of the retreat. We stood in a circle, taking turns saying our names and where we were from. I had to make a choice. Even though the name I use is typically a male name (according to cis-normative standards), this never seemed to tip anyone off. This was early enough…

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Against Their Will: Our Duty to Respond to Fellow Polytheists in Distress

Jolene Poseidonae:

I love this post.

I understand how important the stories we tell (and tell ourselves) are to how we interact with the world around us. I am all about stories, as they shape our very reality. I don’t want to take away, or encourage the taking away, of narratives that people genuinely find helpful in how they tell the stories of who and what and how they are.

That said: consent culture needs to be a thing. That rape culture is so embedded in our consciousness that it informs how we think of, speak of, and interact with the Powers, is telling, and says much of how our over-culture informs our worldviews. There is a world of a difference between giving consent repeatedly and having it taken away irrevocably. There is a world of a difference between saying yes to a relationship in which one is owned and having that choice taken away. The first is a matter between you and the Power involved; the second is not okay and should not be lifted up as some standard to be achieved.

I think we need to be more clear when we’re speaking of things. I think we need to be more honest and possibly less poetic. I think we need to be less accepting of people and Powers that make us feel like shit.

When Pops first entered my life, He disregarded the boundaries I was trying so hard to erect — the distinction here, though, is that I said yes, and that while part of me was terrified and clinging to those boundaries, the part of me that had cried out for help to Poseidon all those years ago was now crying out to Odin. He dragged me — at some points kicking and screaming, as He completely changed my life (job? Gone! Decade long relationship with mortal partner? Gone! Living somewhere I knew, with people I knew? Gone, gone, gone!) and it was painful and raw and scary — but I said yes, even if I was whispering it, each step of the way. I knew those boundaries I consciously erected were strangling me.

I feel safe, cherished, and protected with the sense of possessiveness that I get from Both of Them, and every day is me saying ‘yes’ again. But that yes is important. It’s pivotal. Even if you find yourself landed in a god-owned situation, that ‘yes’ needs to be there.

/soapbox. I love this post, and the author is far more articulate on the subject than I can manage. Read it.

Originally posted on Magick From Scratch:

11140123_10153135382268705_6716534346276535975_nAs I am watching people crawl out of the woodworks,voicing their support for a theology of consent in the Polytheist community, a question has come up.

“This is all well and good, but how do we make the gods participate?”

For those of us, who, like me, certainly couldn’t just will a harmful manifestation of deity away with positive-thinking and pixie-dust, what is the actual path forward?

It’s hard to say for sure. While there are a sizable number of people with experiences similar to mine, where a deity was simply intent on grinding the mortal in question into the dirt until they relented, there is precious little, right now, being said about how to compassionately respond to the suffering of people going through something like this. There is even less being said about how to make it stop.I can’t answer this question all by myself, but I have…

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Random things, again!

Only this time, with bullet points!

  • Yesterday was possibly the best Black Sheep Gathering we’ve attended. Due to fire marshal stuff, they changed things up so that all the vendors were indoors, and thus the event was spread through two buildings, instead of crammed into one and then clustered around outside. I thought at first this would annoy me, and while I had to deal with the acoustics in the one building, I think I actually liked this set up better. There was more space between the stalls, the building had nice happy AC going on, and also, there was more space between the stall. This also meant there was more space for the animals in the barn, and they seemed more relaxed. Some of the typically more skittish creatures were a tad more curious about people . . . and of course, the Shetland lambs were all “touchmetouchmeTOUCHME!!” I got to flirt with a handsome boy and it was lovely. We also skipped the wool sale entirely which made a huge difference. No sitting around in the hot sun for hours to make sure we had a good place in line, oh no. We were there and back in just over four hours.
  • On the walk home, we ran into Hermann, one of our favorite not our dog dogs. He’s a Corgi, and he’s awesome, and I don’t know if he gets this excited over everyone one or if he just remembers us, but he screams like he’s being murdered and then attacks us with slobbery kisses. The first day we actually met him we were walking to a bus stop passed his house, and we turned around to find him walking with us like he knew us and we were best friends and he was just coming to hang out with us. (It may have even been on our way back from BSG three or four years ago). Big Corgi grin the way only Corgis can grin, and this look of “Hey guys, this is so cool, where’re we goin’?” Well, Hermann, we’re going back to your house to bring you home . . .  It was nice to see him and be slobbered on. Shetland sheepies and then Hermann — can it be any more perfect.
  • Which, of course it can, because then we were home with our own family.
  • I have knitting projects! Socks, mainly, but who cares? I have delicious fiber to use, and I cannot wait.
  • Some combinations of colors in various roving makes me want to take my spindle up, just to see what the colors do as I spin
  • Finished chapter 9 of A Marriage of Land and Sea last night, and am into 10. I suspect two more chapters after this and then it’ll be finished. I’m excited; I want to get to the next books, but also, I want to write on some other things, too.
  • This is a boring list. I had more things to talk about, but as of typing this up, I’ve forgotten.
  • I’ve been neglecting to approve comments to some older comments. I apologize. WP has not been notifying me to them and I only just noticed a bunch of them. So, if it’s you and your comment, please know I was not ignoring them or intentionally not approving them. I’ve only just seen them.

Random babblings

[This is mostly thinking out loud; you’ve been warned.]

In a couple of hours Beth and I are heading down to Black Sheep Gathering, and we’re looking forward to that. Historically, this has been a day during which we honor both Frigga and Poseidon, as well as others, because: sheep and fiber and fiber arts! This year the day has arrived and we’re both sort of meh? about it, and it’s quickly pointed out to me that we’re staring down at the one month mark from having Grim put to sleep.

It’s only been one month. Four weeks. Those words, taken together, do not make any logical sense.

We both have a tendency to pull back when we’re grieving. Not from our immediate Family, but from the others? Yes. So, while we are sharing our grief with Odin and Poseidon, and we’re sharing our mourning with our immediate mortal kin, we are neither of us all that interested/motivate or even expected to reach out to those who are not Odin or Poseidon. We’re only even really going in the first place on the off chance that there’ll be a fleece or some such that Beth might really, really want, and to pick up some roving and just get out of the house for a bit.

#

Wrote yesterday, six handwritten pages on Marriage of Land and Sea. My seekrit at the moment is: I’m bored with this story. I’m bored writing fiction. Chances are this is really further extension of the grief, but I a little bit am chaffing at the Story Subscription thing I’ve got going. I’m not going to stop until this book is finished, and really, I say I’m bored with it, but I got a good handle on the current chapter (I’ve re-written chapter 9 more times than I’d like to admit), and I worked in solutions to a Major Thing I completely mentioned once and then neglected to touch at all, and I have the set up for the beginning of the next book, and a decent grasp on the final book. I’ve been fighting how the building of the story wants to be (Two POVS for book 1, four for 2, six for 3) but I’m done fighting how the story wants to be. So, I guess I’m not bored. I’m frustrated that there isn’t more time. I’m back up to working 40 hours a week, and it’s silly the difference those 5 hours make, and there’s more writing I want to do. There’s a nonfiction paper that I’m pulling research in to tackle, and there’s another compiling/editing/gathering/sort of writing project that is in its gestation period. Why do I have to go to a job? There’s too much writing to do!!

#

We’re not special. I’m holding that close these days, closer than I have been. It’s my lifeline. It keeps me sane.

#

There’s a lot of snuggling going on still. Zerk keens, at least once a day, and then collapses against me as I hold him and we mourn together. It’s a distinctive cry that he only developed in the last month. He doesn’t purr loudly like he used to. He breaks my heart.

Neech seeks out “bathing” more often than he has since he was a kitten. We snuggle and he washes my hands, my face, and I pet him vigorously and I lip at his fur and tug lightly, and he settle down for a nap and we hold hands.

I caught Lu bathing Zerk yesterday, which I’d never seen her do before. We’re all okay, but barely just.

And there’s a spirit cat walking around and making things happen and it’s so hard, so weird, to have him be so present and yet to feel this ache.

Okay. Not so random, but still a babble. . .

When It’s Wrong to be an Atheist — lecture

Catchy title, eh?

Newer readers may not know that I have something of an intellectual crush on Professor Francesca Stavrakopoulou, Head of Theology and Religion, and Professor of the Hebrew Bible and Ancient Religion at Exeter. I discovered her via the BBCs The Bibles Buried Secrets and have hunted her material down both through my access to our local uni’s library and also via Youtube. Partially, I just love listening to her talk — some people are just that way. Partially, I enjoy the topics she’s talking about, and partially watching people geek out over the things they’re geeky about is always fun to see. Watching people geek out intellectually over religion and theology makes me happy. I wish more people did it over non-monotheistic faiths, but whatever.

This is a lecture on Youtube that she gave on the topic. It’s more about her experiences as an atheist in her field, and the ways in which being an atheist has negatively impacted her career than it is about atheism in general. There is common ground in that neither she nor I, nor, I suspect, any of my readers, are in the religious majority, and there is overlap in what we face, no matter where else we stand.

She talks a bit, too, about being the wrong kind of atheist for atheists, and at the end she presents her bullet points for the standard of being an atheist she holds herself up to. And if I wasn’t already happy that she existed in this world, by the time she finished with her fifth point, I would have been.

Little things

Two nights ago I picked back up my Letters to Poseidon, which I’d stopped after writing about Grim being diagnosed with cancer. That being my last entry, I didn’t want to yet move past that in the book, but neither did I want to keep that as the last entry. (Letters to Poseidon is basically how I journal, and it’s a practice I started before I’d even given Him any vows. It  was my very first way of meditating.)

Last night I dreamt that Poseidon took form to hug me. It was the sweetest, most wonderful sense of being held and cared for and of Him just being there. We’ve been going through some things that I can only classify as o/Our both being distracted by other issues, and there’s been a fair bit of missing Him even though I know it’s my own doing, that i’m not reaching out as much as I could be doing. I have had maybe, maybe two dreams wherein Poseidon has taking human form in my entire life — typically He’s either there and not embodied, or He’s there and in the shape of something other than humanoid. The first dream He was in loads of trouble and had to duck flying kitchen utensils.

I think we both preferred this latter dream.