The Devotional Lifestyle: The Tension Between Ancient and Modern

I am a devotional polytheist; I believe in many gods but currently am devoted only to Brighid. While I most often refer to Her with Her Irish name, I believe that the core of Her may be found throughout the ancient Celtic world. For me, most if not all “Brig” goddesses and goddesses of the “Celtic Minerva” type, as well as the Catholic St. Brigit, refer to the same entity. I also believe that similar “Brig currents” can be found in other pantheons as well, though I’m currently unable to articulate Who “counts” as Brighid and Who does not. (I expect reality is far trickier than my experience of it. I further expect the gods as a whole enjoy watching humans struggle with identities that are dynamic, fluid, and sometimes just plain confusing.)

However, I also firmly believe that Brighid is manifesting right now in my own backyard. While I do care about the historical background of Her worship, I also care that I am worshipping Her right now, in 2014 as a life-long US and Virginia citizen brought up in the Blue Ridge Mountains. I am white; I am queer; I am trans*; I am middle class; I am well educated; I am Pagan. I am all of these things as a person surrounded by a society which privileges some of these experiences and disadvantages others. I have Scottish ancestry as evidenced by my last name, but I believe that means little in the grand scheme of things. I grew up speaking English and don’t have a lick of practice with any Celtic language. I can’t tell you the political or religious history of the British Isles – or heck, even basic knowledge of and correct terminology for the struggles experienced by modern Celtic folks.

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My Practice as a Headblind Devotee

Though I don’t work with Apollon, I do have a similar experience – or lack thereof – when navigating spiritual feels in my devotional relationship with Brighid. I wish I’d found this comfort when I first started out on a Pagan path in high school. Some of us just don’t “feel” much and that is perfectly okay.

Treasury of Apollon

I’m dedicated to my Lord Apollon. I am His to take on and use as He sees fit, rearing me in whatever ways He deigns appropriate as His devotee. My relationship as a dedicant is slightly interesting, in that I’m mostly headblind. I don’t “hear” the gods like some others do. I don’t sense things, or have visions and dreams. My divination, though it’s getting better, is spotty and unpredictable, while the extent of my meditations is breathing in a funny way until I feel kind of floaty. Because of that, oftentimes, I don’t function in my relationship with deity in the same way that many others in the various pagan and polytheist communities do. Although all paths are different, and all are our own, I wanted to write what little I could about my own path in an attempt to shed light on one of the many ways Apollon…

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