Inclusion, citation, love-affairs with mythic past; more ADF-inspired musing

I’ve made more progress in reading through the DP manual — I should have the finished tonight/tomorrow, and I’ll move on to supplemental material. I want to make it perfectly clear: I am already finding much of value in the material, and I’m not knocking anyone’s approach. I’ve interacted with people in the ADF before now, and I really have nothing to complain about. This, so far, is proving to be a useful exercise in re-evaluating where I am.

I hit the section dealing with hearth cultures last night, and I read some more of their sample rituals. I found the later ones to be better in that they seem a bit less ‘here, I’m giving to you so now gimme!!’, and there was fewer instances of problematic-for-me language when it came to dealing with the Deep and what its treasures are. I still think that, as a primer for new-to-paganism in general, more time could be spent on why we might interact with the Powers, and why relationships being maintained for their own good might be useful and desirable. Maybe it’s my background. Maybe it’s my retail history. Maybe it’s my aversion to the way we are consumers in the world, but I really want more substance on this topic. I can get behind people being in need of help and having nowhere else to turn — Poseidon came into my life when I needed the help, and He gave that to me before anything else was exchanged; I’m not knocking that we gain from Them and that They seem willing to give. I just . . . want more substance about how relationships can be, in a primer that is for new-to-paganism folks.

I also want citations. When I reached the part dealing with the Proto-Indo-European hearth culture, I stumbled. So, I’m all for being inspired by the past, and I’m all for creating anew upon the bones of the past, and so I’m not knocking that. But the manual asserts that ‘Spring was a very busy time for the Proto-Indo-Europeans. It began with the Spring Equinox, which was the New Year (the beginning of the year, not the end). Associated with Xáusōs and Diwós Sunú (“Sons of the God”). The return of Light.’ Citations for the curious, please? Because if they don’t exist, that’s fine, but say so, and stop this need to root *everything* in the past like this. And if they do exist, gimme because I want to see the source material for myself, because context matters to me and I need to see it for myself. (Context matters. It’s why I don’t understand how the bit about Poseidon Asphaleios wound up being about Him holding the earth steady, when the reference in Pausanias is all about commerce and the marketplace. I want to know how Burkhert made that jump; I want to know what he knew that I don’t.)

Perusing the Hellenic hearth culture and their High Days, I had to walk away. The two suggestions for the Winter Solstice were Dionysos festivals, and while I get it, Dionysos is the shit, it grated. I understand that we build our own tradition within the ADF format, and so obviously mine will be heavily slanted toward Poseidon — but come on. THE MONTH WAS NAMED FOR POSEIDON in Athens. There is historical evidence of His festival falling on or near the Solstice in various parts of the Hellenic world. /rant. That’s my own peeve, and I admit that.

I’m still sitting with the IE focus. Groups can decide how they want to be, and I won’t be a poor guest by demanding otherwise. I’m finding it interesting how much my time within the heathen community and having Poseidon worship excluded solidified within me a reluctance toward similar exclusion, in general. It was formative, for sure. “Come worship with us, honor the gods, stand with us in community and frith — but we don’t want this very central part of who you are, it has no place with us.” It gives me the smallest insight into how people who fall outside our expected norms of various issues — religious, race, gender, sexuality, ways of being in and experiencing the world, might maybe feel when they are excluded, and it makes me extremely reluctant to be a person who endorses that exclusion. Yes, both Poseidon and Odin fall under the umbrella . . . but I also feel a bit disingenuous, being someone living in a land that is not European, and seeking to find my gods is this place. I do seek out Others — the landspirits here have run the gamut between being flexible with whatever form I use to approach them to being outright demanding in dictating how it will be, based on Their established preferences, and I will not do anything other than stay open to Their input. I honor Poseidon when the rains return, but I honor Poseidon and the Rainmakers; I’m inclusive to those Who are here, and I think we need to be, and I think, with those of us on occupied land, that’s going to be tricky, and important.

I realize, as I study, and ponder, what I want is modern polytheism to be inclusive. I want space at the table for all sorts of polytheists with all sorts of cultural influences. I want the uniting factor to be respect, to be hospitality given and received. I want us to be good hosts and good guests. I want that to be the common ground, and maybe not what our rituals and worship look like.

A need to have our praxis look the same, or even similar, is a hold-over from monotheism, and it’s a need that has to go.

These are my thoughts this morning.

Now for chores!

7 thoughts on “Inclusion, citation, love-affairs with mythic past; more ADF-inspired musing

  1. “I realize, as I study, and ponder, what I want is modern polytheism to be inclusive. I want space at the table for all sorts of polytheists with all sorts of cultural influences. I want the uniting factor to be respect, to be hospitality given and received. I want us to be good hosts and good guests. I want that to be the common ground, and maybe not what our rituals and worship look like.

    A need to have our praxis look the same, or even similar, is a hold-over from monotheism, and it’s a need that has to go.”

    Yes and yes and Love this. this is where we are going, this is the only acceptable place for us to go in my head and heart. I am very interested to see us get there – it would be nice if I could see it in my lifetime……

  2. I’m not a member of the ADF, but I am pretty obsessed with Proto-Indo-European stuff, and I’ve come across the works of Ceisiwr Serith (who IS an ADF member), and it’s possible they were referring to his work when they included the PIE parts. Here’s the part of his homepage dedicated to PIE religion: http://ceisiwrserith.com/pier/index.htm . He wrote a book called “Deep Ancestors” which I have yet to obtain a copy of, but which goes into more depth: http://www.amazon.com/Deep-Ancestors-Practicing-Religion-Proto-Indo-Europeans-ebook/dp/B00JF6RKXK/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1455219907&sr=1-1&keywords=deep+ancestors . He also has a great (although infrequently updated) YouTube channel with some cool PIE videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC3aWzlJEy22Y3N29yn9RDzg/videos . I can get you some other PIE related links if you’d like, but he’s literally the only person I know of doing PIE reconstruction/revival religion, like, anywhere. I think he leads an ADF Grove out in Colorado or something, but I could be totally wrong about that.

    • I’ve been eyeballing his book. I’m assuming that’s where the adf pie material is coming from. My quibble is still a lack of citation. It’s interesting, and also too much for me to deal with while getting my interior pedant to shut up about😉

    • Holy crap, my comment was bitchy. I’m sorry about that. (And hopefully it didn’t come across that way to *you*; I’m in a foul mood today that I can’t seem to shake, and my not articulating myself as well as I’d like is making it sound worse, at least in my head. Hopefully only in my head. My apologies.

      I find the PIE stuff fascinating, honestly, as it’s likely the closest we’ll ever come to the time period of humanity that interests me the *most* (which is when multiple human species co-existed) I’m going to get around to getting Deep Ancestors at some point to satisfy my curiosity. As for as religious reconstruction of PIE goes . . . well, yeah. I still want to see the sources, especially if we’re talking about a book that is one’s introduction to paganism in general. I love the polytheist slant that the ADF seems to have, at least in writing . . . at the same time, the inclusion of PIE deities into a ‘druidic’ system (which admittedly had to have come waaay after the PIE peeps) while excluding Isis, whose cult certainly traveled all over the IE world, if at a later date . . . meh. It’s their choice, but it’s a dissonance from where I’m standing that is hard for me to get my head around. And dissonance isn’t the world I’m going for. And my struggle with this exclusion thing is not your worry. Sorry, sorry. I’m just thinking out loud with this.

      Thank you for the links.🙂 I’ll look into it more.

      • Oh, I did not find your earlier comment bitchy! As far as why the ADF chooses or doesn’t choose various things, I really couldn’t say just from lack of knowledge. I’m friends with some members and I’ve been to a service and scanned their website but that’s pretty much it. I’m obsessed with PIE stuff because it’s like going into the time before recorded history and forcing it to give up its secrets, and that gets me all kinds of hot and bothered. (TMI? LOL!) I was personally a bit confused about ADF being “druidic” when they’re including so many non-Celtic cultures, but they do admit that they are not reconstructing the past, but creating a religion for modern times, which I think is something that is necessary, to one degree or another, in all Polytheist paths. If I’m not mistaken (but I very well might be) I think the OBOD is more about the whole ‘being Celtic Druids’ bit.

  3. “I realize, as I study, and ponder, what I want is modern polytheism to be inclusive. I want space at the table for all sorts of polytheists with all sorts of cultural influences. I want the uniting factor to be respect, to be hospitality given and received.”

    This this this. I’m trying so hard to bring awareness of these things to my local communities / local politics, and I’d love to see it in paganism as well.

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