Articles/Essays From Pagans
May 19th. 2013 ...
The Role of Identity in Magic
Talking Trash? It's a Dirty Subject but Waste Happens.
My Wiccan Journey
13 Keys: The Victory of Netzach
May 12th. 2013 ...
Pagan Studies I: How Should We Define Modern Paganism?
The Third Path
Nothing Special... Part Two
May 5th. 2013 ...
The Value of Multicultural Awareness
Put Your Back Into It (Our Lady of the Sacred Honey Badger)
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Red Lipped Bat Fish
April 28th. 2013 ...
Lessons from the Lessers: Iris
April 21st. 2013 ...
Taken By The Goddess: The Crescent Moon Tattoo
The Gods/Being Godbothered
To Be A Witch
The Archetypes are Gods: Re-godding the Archetypes
April 14th. 2013 ...
On The Inclusion of Children
'Wand Fun' With Grandson
Lessons from a Baby
Lessons of Freedom: On Divinity and Healing
April 7th. 2013 ...
Out of the Broom Closet... Sorta
A Journey Through the Witches Tarot
History and Science Behind Numerology
March 31st. 2013 ...
What is the Magickal Self?
Ethics and Numerology
March 24th. 2013 ...
Keystones of the Sacred Land
March 17th. 2013 ...
Why Some Pagans and Witches Still Hide
Witch Heritage 101: What Happens When Witch Haters Joke about anti-Witch Films
I'm Not a Broom. So What's with the Closet?
March 10th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Things I Did as a New Pagan: Part 3
Hunting for the Real Witch in Film
The Collective Shadow
Lies - The Opposite of Truth
March 3rd. 2013 ...
Grounding and Releasing Negative Energy
A Patchwork of Magick
February 24th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I Made as a New Pagan (Part Two)
February 17th. 2013 ...
Top Ten Stupid Mistakes I made as a New Pagan... Part One
Gardening with Crystal Energies
A Call from the Ancestors
Moon Musings, Planetary Preponderances and Black Water Snakes
February 10th. 2013 ...
We Are the Weirdos, Mister: A Completely Uncool Story of Origin
February 3rd. 2013 ...
"I'll Grind Your Bones to Make my Bread": Pagans and Animal Husbandry
The Role of Contemporary Culture in Magic
A Pagan Response to Endangered Earth
The Great Mother's Gift, Heinlein, and the Nature of Squirrels
13 Keys: The Glory of Hod
January 27th. 2013 ...
Why We Do Need Wicca
The Cosmos In the Coffee Shop
On Travel Spirituality and Magick
January 20th. 2013 ...
Beloved Backs and How to Save Them
Building or Burning Bridges?
Plants, Magic and Intuition
Plagiarism - How It Harms Our Community
January 13th. 2013 ...
Ramblings of a Pagan Guy: Stupid Clichés
The Magick and Power of Words
Aging Is Not Easy
The Riddle of Who We Are?
January 6th. 2013 ...
Wicca v Witchcraft
A Witch in the Closet
How Many People Can You Fit Under An Umbrella?
Gut Hunches, Mouse Dreams, and Pinkie Sense
December 30th. 2012 ...
Ritual "Cheat Sheet" Bracelet
Magick is All Around Us
Confessions of a Living Satyr
A Tiny Bit of Belly Dance History
December 23rd. 2012 ...
The Warrior Goddess and You.
World Change: A Message from Greece
What's the Meaning of Life, Anyway?
My Brother's Keeper
December 16th. 2012 ...
Keeping Christ in Xmas
Love is the Law
Listen to Your Heart's Wisdom
NOTE: For a complete list of articles related to this chapter... Visit the Main Index FOR this section.
I'll Be Me and You Be You|
Posted: January 24th. 2004
Times Viewed: 2,210
In descending order of group size I am alive, human, Unitarian Universalist, Eclectic Wiccan with a Norse patron and myself, unique, Ironwolf Odinnson aka Robert A. Sloan. This article appears under my Craft name because I made a personal oath at choosing my Craft name to keep it public. My real name and literary pseudonyms will all link to it on my website when it's done, but all religious writing must come under my Ironwolf Odinnson byline -- because that breaks up the whole idea that Odinists are all rightwing Aryan skinheads.
I don't think I or anyone else is really entitled to say what "Pagans" should or should not do or worship or practice unless that's in literal self-defense. I'd use minimum force for that, because I have taken elements of my philosophy and outlook from every religious source I ever found. I tripped on 'minimal force' studying Bushido and The Book of Five Rings.
I live in the 21st century, and I am writing this article on a computer the size of a three ring binder that will let me exchange intelligent letters with people in the place Odinism originated, or in Africa, or Russia or anywhere else you name. I could replace this machine with a lousier but functional used one for less than $250.00 if I was on Welfare. I could communicate with anyone on Earth, and I could probably even find people who shared their language to translate if I put the social effort into finding interpreters.
I'm also a science-fiction writer. That means I'm going to look at the effect of technology on society, and think about things on many different levels in different directions -- cautionary, optimistic, mystical, poetic, faith, literalism, anything -- then get treated as if I read cards or runes by any number of serious people. Since I read the cards and runes too, maybe divination, thought experiment and fable-telling can all flow together for me. Why not? It's what I do, who I am, and everything in my life is part of a whole.
A whole with one viewpoint. Take a picture from your bedroom window of the yard. Go down there and take one from the yard, of your bedroom window. You won't see what the person with the camera who snapped you while you were up there saw and neither will they. I am one finite point of view in infinity, and if I shared Odin's high seat for one instant I could not retain enough detail to come down into just Ironwolf Odinnson again with anything but, probably, that one recognition most personally important to me at the time.
Some people thrive in eclectic circles. Others find their roots in Asatru and traditional Norse practice, or Celtic practice, or Norse Wicca as such, and they will all stand where they do and be who they are. Some move in large meta-groups that acquire grace, structure, and community power by their size. Others are solitary. Still others prefer little traditional covens and within each coven practice can vary.
How could I say what's right for anyone but Ironwolf Odinnson?
I follow the Wanderer. I share what I find and I listen. I take with me whatever works for me as I deepen and grow over the years like my patron. For me, religion includes a very personal relationship with Odin and many other gods and goddesses, not just of Asgard either. Bast and Christ blessed me with the wife whom I love beyond anything, the Goddess that I can hold in my arms.
One reasonable philosophical view might have come out of Robert Heinlein's science fiction -- he was quite a philosopher, and that's where I read it -- is "thou art God." That's recognizing the true deep being of all others as themselves divine, and myself as a little young son of Odin doing a lot of the types of things Odin does. I liked that. It fits with how I look at self and world. I'm one living being and the world's made of lots of others all through time, near and far. It also relates to the whole Christian idea of "children of God," which gave me some Christian practices like vernacular prayer, just *talking* to my patron in a familiar, personal, loving and appreciative way that I found right for me. I get answered. No arguing with that.
I draw something beautiful from every tradition I find, because they all have something to say. I look with joy and reverence at almost all living things and when not, there's a good reason why at the time. Barking dogs may bite, but I don't have to hate the dog to deal with the problem. I don't spend all my time in a high mystical state or deep silent awareness. I belch and sleep and live as fully as I can, because this is where I am and who I am and what I'm doing.
My personal syncretism is to look at anything from many different points of view, as many as I can filter it through from pure causal materialism to psychic perception and mystical practices and cultural filters, then settle back into my own balanced viewpoint. Like Odin's high seat from which he can see the world and everything in it, my own point of view is my little Ironwolf Odinnson seat from which I can see everything I can, then trust that beyond my horizon there's infinity and more unknown than known. I find joy in that meditation.
When I share ceremonies with other people, whether it's a big U.U. service, a service in another religion where I am a guest, a coven's rites or one of those spontaneous interfaith rituals that can happen when the gods just inspire everyone to it, I open my heart to what's going on in its own terms. If I am invited to help create it, I share my artistic skills and when its nature isn't like that I listen and keep my own inspiration quiet. I could guest in any religion's rites that welcomed guests and find meaning.
I met people from African traditions, and participated in an African related fusion ceremony once. It was very beautiful, and later I dreamed of a dark goddess who led me into a clean warm round African house with well-fed children and laughing people eating good food, after seeing the wreck of a crumbling mansion full of awkward tourists. In her African house was a woven banner of Herne the Hunter. She opened her arms to me and said "Will you join my revolution?" Then I woke. Love it when they ask questions you have to answer.
I think I already had, and that was the point of my dream -- if I live well, listen and write, and I live as if a healthy world full of rich diversity were already here, where people take others for who they are and live as themselves openly without fear -- then that is the world I live in. We are making it up. We are making it what we want, and we can make the rest healthier by taking responsibility for our own karma, moral decisions, groups and lives. I will find hospitality anywhere I go, and give it whenever I can. I try to be a good host and a good guest; the One-Eyed has a lot more grace and practice.
Syncretism is right for some and not for others. Beyond that is a simpler ethic the U.U. applies every day in its "no dogmas" rule that allows Pagans, atheists, Catholics, Buddhists, Hindus, and anyone -- really anyone -- to share and listen and deepen and grow. U.U. accomplishes mass action far better than a little coven, but it won't give the group identity that only a little coven can or the individual mysticism of a solitary time.
You be you, and I'll be me.
In a rainforest a thousand thousand species of everything connects in a blazing harmony of complex interrelationships. The web of life is strong and rich, so when something goes wrong, it rebounds fast. Jungles eat cities. In a cornfield, massive effort is needed to protect any monoculture crop from exhausting the soil or falling to disease. Perhaps human social life and human worship and human beliefs will, in a future that's growing as randomly and organically as that forest, become so resilient and interconnected that we don't have to fear that the others aren't all always just like us -- but welcome that as a trust they're doing what we'd like to not bother with.
I think you're great being who you are. Enjoy. Keep it up. Grow in your direction and let me know what you find.
Location: , USA
Bio: Ironwolf Odinnson has been Pagan since age 7, and in every past life he can remember. He lives in Lewisville, TX with his Christian wife, many cats, two pairs of eclectic housemates, two of their children and two snakes. As Robert A. Sloan he's published Raven Dance available at amazon.com, numerous articles and stories online, and soon in print, Satinism and Stitchcraft in issue #193 or #194 of The Door Magazine. His erotic vampire novel Katerina will appear serially in Strange Love and his new novel Chazho is under consideration at Tor.
Other Listings: To view ALL of my listings: Click HERE
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