Thursday, January 23, 2014

Trying to organize my thoughts

I am still here.  Dealing with post-holiday depression among other things, but mostly trying to organize my thoughts enough to write coherently instead of babbling.  Although babbling is what I do best.

I'm still very much on the same path.  I think this is something of a record.  Toward the end of last year, I was faced with some incredibly hurtful things out there on the internet that weren't directed toward me at all.  But still pretty painful.  Mostly by people I would deem rigorists in their beliefs.  Those who think there is only one way to think about things.

It was hard watching Teo Bishop's journey in his last months as a pagan.  I had told Zach way back in 2012 that he was going back to Christianity so it wasn't a surprise that he did.  It was simply that he wasn't done with it yet.  He still had those longings for the ritual and the community and the...well, privilege that exists within that world.  I know because I had similar feelings.  I never missed the deity the way he did though and I think that's why when he made that change in his life, it triggered a definitive decision on mine that I could never go back.  Although I do think he won't be happy with that path either.  But I could be wrong.

But the hate-mongering that went on toward him really disappointed me.  I had discovered long ago that pagans aren't really different from Christians in their attitudes.  Not really.  I nearly left paganism initially when I saw the rigorists that existed within this group.  I hung on because I had nothing else.  I couldn't go back to Christianity because I no longer believed in Jesus.  I don't even believe that he ever existed.  Most likely he is a compilation of many different messianic characters from that era, when you couldn't throw a rock without hitting a messiah, they were so numerous.

Still, it was bothersome that there were people within paganism that were as hateful and mean-spirited as the religion I left behind.  I felt abandoned by my new "community."  Until I realized it wasn't a community at all.  My attempts at joining up with other pagans in the area ended when I merely disagreed with someone in an online group..didn't get in a rage...simply disagreed...and was ripped a new one by the moderator for not letting her handle it.  She didn't like it that I said something to a friend on facebook, without mentioning her name at all.  She went there and bitched me up one side and down another because I didn't bow to her authority on the local group.  There was an obvious power struggle going on within this group and as that was the only group I knew of in my local area, I was pretty much shut out.  As this power-hungry person is in charge of the Pagan Pride thing, I'm pretty much shut out of that community as well.

That was years ago, but still...way to shut down someone new to the path.

I've pretty much decided my path is solitary because there is no real community out there.  I know that I suffer from social anxiety and it's hard for me to interact with people, even online, but I'm not inclined to get involved in a group that has "all" the answers and won't let me find my own way.  It took me a long time to find this path.  I'm certainly not going to let someone else tell me what my path entails.

I've been reading a lot about the Norse/Anglo Saxon gods in blogs and in books.  I've read that you can't combine the paths because they are too different and not to be merged.  Too bad.  I'm merging them because it's the path I've chosen and the path that I was drawn to.  I've read that you can't wear certain symbols because they mean something specific and it's "dangerous" to wear them if you haven't committed to that deity or if you're the wrong gender.  I've read that the gods are "dangerous" and not to be trifled with and if you can't dot your i's and cross your t's then your life can be a living hell.

Too fucking bad.

Quite frankly I don't get how the myths are still the main way we "know" the gods when the myths were written by men ages ago and not always by the same cultures of men.  And why do we no longer view the gods as still having adventures and things going on in their lives?  Why do we only see them as men saw them in the past?

I'm absolutely not about to charge in and devise a new religion.  But I'm also going to get to know the gods and rely on that more than I do old words written (and revised by Christian monks) ages ago.  I believe the gods change with the times, as they did back in ancient times.  I know there are people out there who hate the thought of someone seeing the gods in a different way from the way they see them.  For some reason they feel threatened by that.  Again...too fucking bad.

I don't see the gods as fluffy kittens and rainbows by any stretch of the imagination.  They're not my buddies and they're not going to relate to me on an equal level.  They can be frightening at times.  But they're not dangerous.  I lived with that kind of thinking for 50 years as a Christian...a god who "loved" me so much he killed his own kid and then sends people who don't love him back to hell for all eternity to endure torture and torment.  Yeah...not going to worship any god who thinks punishing me is for my own good.  Just not going to do it.

I'm totally going to respect the Eddas and the old writings but I'm basing my knowledge of the gods on who they are to me.  It's what we do in any real-life relationship, isn't it?  We don't base our relationships on what other people tell us about the person in our lives.  We base it on our relationship with them.

It's pretty obvious I still don't have my thoughts organized and ended up just babbling anyway.  Maybe next time I'll be better at getting my thoughts out there.  Fibromyalgia does mess with my concentration so it's hard sometimes to get it all out there.

Still, thanks for reading.  I hope to be more faithful about posting.