For a while now I’ve struggled with questions like “Are you a soft or hard polytheist? What do you mean when you are panentheist, and isn’t that just a cop out for people who have monotheist sympathies? How can you be in both your tradition and also be as influenced as you claim with the Hellenic Gods? Isn’t feeling drawn to Gods from multiple cultures just appropriation and a bad habit? Isn’t eclectic just a synonym for appropriation? How can you be a witch and worship the Hellenic Gods?” Quite frankly, many of these questions aren’t ones that have been directly stated to me (hell, I’ve gotten very little direct badgering over my blog and, let’s be honest, who would come to this tiny corner to insult me, and if they did why would I give a shit?) and are in fact questions I’ve been anticipating before I involved myself into any sort of serious discussion with the broader Pagan/polytheistic community. Particularly with the way that the Neo-Pagan flavor of things has gotten a very bad rap and the way that many polytheists and Pagans now shut down any of the influences drawn from the Neo-Pagan movement, I’ve been quite hesitant to involve myself with the community at large.
In some ways, dealing with these both inner and outer questions has been a major roadblock in my path. They lead to much inner skepticism that has made it at times impossible to fully throw myself into my practice and devotion to the gods and spirits. Yet, over time I think I’m finally beginning to conquer these questions, at least in my internal monologue. Whether or not these would prove satisfactory in communicating with a skeptical polytheist, Neo-pagan or anyone else is still remained to be seen, but quite frankly at this point I don’t give a shit. I eventually do want to involve myself with the community at large. Although perhaps not at the moment (being barely able to function with school such a large part of my life) I think that I will be able to contribute to the Hellenic polytheist community. If all goes well I’ll be graduating with a bachelors in Classical Civilization within the next two years, with a year and a half each in Greek and Latin (with my own private goals to continue studying the languages until I can translate the Theogony and Marcus’s Meditations for myself, the latter a gift for my sweetheart) and then going on, I hope, to get my MLS and become a librarian. If anything, I have access to sources that many people can only dream of, being able to access a library of a top 20 (US rankings, not world) University with a Master’s Graduate Program in Classics and a fairly thriving Undergraduate department (not trying to sound snobbish, but I have a goal to saturate myself with the academic study of both Classical religion, comparative religious studies and modern social and religious movements so that I can specifically be a better member of the community and help develop it so that, maybe when I’m old and gray, I can point my maybe existing in the future children to this time and show them the vast amount of progress we’ve made, instead of showing them to the mass of petty squabbles and internet cat fights that have been going on lately).
I realize that I want to share the strides I’ve made, mentally, about these questions-in part, because I usually do better with discussion than with purely internal monologue, and in part because I hope that they can stand up to base scrutiny and that, just maybe, they can help inspire others to critically examine their own cosmological views so that they can at least try to understand the notion of internal consistency (again, not to sound condescending, but I do notice a tendency towards inconsistency within individuals that I find to be a weak point in the state of both the larger Pagan/Neo-Pagan movement as a whole and in the respective smaller movements). I’ll probably do this in a set of posts, since it is difficult to address all of what I want to mentally in a concise format. Already I’m over 700 words in this post alone, and I’d rather not create TL;DR monsters that make people skim over my blog like old milk- these are supposed to be serious examinations that could possibly provoke serious conversation, and even if it doesn’t (considering the small scope of my blog thus far) I’d like to at least delude myself into thinking that they will have that potential. I’m off to campus soon, but I hope to post something later today with more specific substance.
Until then, enjoy this little fantastic bundle of awesome and let it make you have the most enormous smile today (even if people look at you like you are crazy!) (no seriously, I’m not kidding. Watch this and you will be skipping afterwards)-