Interfaith reading . . .


One of the ways in which I foster a compassionate spirit towards others (here: other humans) is to remain away of the things we have in common. As a religiously minded person, my focus often goes towards their religousness or spirituality. As a polytheist, this often winds up with me feeling frustrated and sad, because there are a slew of monotheist-minded people with whom I see important common ground that I know will go unrecognized by them, unheeded, and that’s really too bad.

Along with (slowly, it would seem) picking my way through the Temple of Witchcraft books (which are one part study but also one part doing) I’ve picked up (again) both the Bible (currently the KJ version) and a translation of the Qu’ran. (It was three dollars for Kindle, has commentary, and fit the thematic flair that my Virgo/Libra cusp loving self adores, as it is Ramadan). The Bible reading is partially ancestor reverence. The Qu’ran is a new fascination with the time period and the part of the world, and, after getting a few pages in, a marveling at the better writing of it. Reading the Bible is *painful* to my inner editor. Reading the Qu’ran, complete with in-line commentaries that breaks up the passages, is not. Though I still marvel at the acceptance-as-real that these three religions get, based on written material that was divinely given — that have, at their hearts, mystical roots — whereas others that are just as fulfilling and real for their followers are dismissed as fake. I find this especially true of Christianity, but then, I know more about those various conversion periods than I do about any of the others.

I find in interesting, too, that (at least with regard to the copy of the translation that I’m reading) acknowledgment of the influence of Zoroastrianism is given. I haven’t encountered that within my experiences with Christians, so that was neat.

And, I’m finding an itch that was soothed by the week-long vigil wants soothing, again, and I’m not quite sure what to do to soothe it. I read about the periods of prayers throughout the day in Islam, and as it has for years, it speaks to me. I need, perhaps, to investigate that. It comes back to, again, that part of me flourishes with some structure. Not a lot, just some, just enough, but still. Still. Will have to sit and ponder this, and see how I’ll apply it.

Also! They have weregild! I might have laughed in delight when I came across that in the glossary. They didn’t call it weregild at any time, obviously, but it’s totally weregild. People on the bus might have looked at me, oddly enough.

Am still exhausted. Hoping that’ll clear up with a nice sleep in tomorrow morning.


5 Comments Add yours

  1. Diane says:

    i very much get what you mean about the structured prayer times. The Catholics, at least those who choose to go that route, have something similar with the Liturgy of the Office, Breviary, or Book of Hours. Having been brought up in a home where the adults were expected and the kids invited to participate in these daily prayer times, it’s something I’ve found myself longing for (and lately, writing for myself but somehow not actually *doing*).

    Now that you mention the Muslim prayer times, I see for the first time the parallel. Reading the Wikipedia article further, it seems the roots for the Christian practice are in Judaism, though the number of “hours” is seven (unsurprisingly, it would be that or three or twelve, though apparently it grew to eight). I wonder if the roots for the Muslim practice are similar and/or Zoroastrian. I know extremely little about Zoroastrianism, but I do know that the Five Pillars of Islam are a thing, so five prayer times makes sense. I just find myself wondering how The Number To Use came to be five.

    1. naiadis says:

      The five prayer times that Muslims observe have caused me to recall the Divine Office, though I’ll admit that, in my head that never clicked over to “non-monastics do this, too.” Even though I *know* they can and do. I am really attracted to multiple prayer times throughout the day, as I realized with the getting up at midnight and saying some prayers part of the vigil. Before that started, after the beginning of June, I had been focusing a tad more on things that could be considered devotional moments — making sure to get up and do the general touching in, grounding, shielding, etc. Which is a great way to start the morning. And, I do, every day, share my first cup of tea with Poseidon, and the placement of that on the shrine is somewhat formal (some days. Some days its “mmmrgrkheregrmmm”). And since I’ve been having “it must be really nice to have this book to open up and recite from at random when you’re not able to focus on what you want to pray, or when you don’t really have something SPECIFIC to pray, or when it’s oh my gods o’clock and you can barely think straight, and I I want a book of prayers.” All and sundry have been quick to point out that,you know. I write. *grumble* So, I’ll be working on that. So far the idea is: morning shrine ‘opening’ and evening shrine ‘closing’ and something likely during my lunch period, which has also already gotten better by being a mindful time to spend with Poseidon. And then I start worrying, because :I’m not including Odin, also, and maybe I should, and I likely will add in something during the shrine opening and closing, even though I won’t be ‘closing’ Beth’s Odin’s shrine. Or perhaps I’ll include a modified version of Sigrifa’s prayer, because I do quite love that prayer.

      Does this mean you’ve started working on a book of prayers, too? What does it look like? Are you doing them longhand, or on the computer, to then print out? How are you binding them?

      A cursory foray into “where did the Five Pillars come from?” brings up only where in their scriptures it comes from, alas. Five is a curious number. The fact that they call them Pillars *always* bring my mind both to the High Priestess card of the major arcana, and to Qabala in general. Which, while it isn’t likely what they would want, it at least has its roots in Judaism.

      I’ll be delving into Zoroastrianism next, I think, just to see. Caught tantalizing glimpses during the reading of the Masks of God, and I’d forgotten.

      My library history is eclectic, that’s for sure.

      1. Diane says:

        Yep, non-monastics do it too. Though, to be fair, my parents are quasi-monastics in that they are Third Order Dominicans, which is basically “monasticism for lay people.”

        Yep, I’ve been working on said book off and on for years, but I’ve recently been doing more with it. Last night I ended up writing start-of-day prayers for today’s Therapeia festival. This quickly exploded beyond my Patrons plus Asklepios to a thing that somehow includes Kwan Yin, Apollo, Pan, Asklepios, Hygeia, Panakeia, Akeso, Iaso, and Aigla (Asklepios’ 5 daughters, about Whom I still know very little, but Hygeia has been nudging for attention for some time now, and then I discovered She has sisters.)

        I’m doing it on the computer, nothing printed yet. I would *love* to get it leather bound with little silk ribbon place-holders, like my parents’ Breviaries, but considering how super-specific to my collection of Patrons it is, that would be a print run of one, pretty much. (Good thing, as otherwise there’d be issues with copyright for the various translations of sutras and hymns I’m finding myself including.) Might be a tad out of my price range. So far the answer, then, is that I have no idea if it’ll get bound at all or just end up in sheet protectors in my Materia Magika (which is a 3-ring binder).

        I’m also looking at primarily start-of-day/end-of-day. Not sure with my schedule it makes sense to call these “morning” and “evening.”

        I peeked at the Wiki entry on Zoroastrianism. It looks interesting. Yes, your library list must be eclectic indeed!

        1. naiadis says:

          In theory, I’ve been working on mine for years, except “for years” means in this case, I copied in a few traditional prayers for Poseidon, copied in some of mine, and then haven’t touched it, oh, in maybe six years. I’m going to start fresh!

          I wonder what the easiest way would be, to get that book into a leather bound fancy-dancy book. I’m thinking hand-copying is the way to go, but surely there must be some other book-binding option. It’s the print run of one that snags us, indeed. If I had hand writing that would pass muster, I’d offer to make that a project, because the *idea* of hand-writing it sounds absolutely wonderful, and is what I’m thinking of doing myself. A mock-up to start with, so first I need to go all magpie out and collect the bits I want, and then arrangement, and then begin the real thing. Except, at the same time, as if it’s going be stagnant. As if i’m not going to add to it, for like forever. I want *pretty* and *art* and also add-ability.

          May need to learn how to hand sew books, I guess. Because if one can arrange them by signatures, one could, in theory, take them apart and rearrange them, at least within limits, so long as one doesn’t want to put in page numbers. Booklet sized, maybe, small enough to begin with to hande saddle-stitch type covers. . . and really, I’ve wanted to learn how to do coptic stitch for years . . . hrm . . .

          1. Diane says:

            As if i’m not going to add to it, for like forever. I want *pretty* and *art* and also add-ability.

            Yes, this!

            I have no idea what “arrange them by signatures” means or what coptic stitch is, but if it would mean pretty and art and add-ability, that could be cool. I might need to learn that too.

            Cooler than trying to read anything in my handwriting. *winces*

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