Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Prayer to Thor #1

I'm currently taking an eight-week course on Reconstruction as Methodology through the Academia Antinoi.  Some of the classes have made me go "hm", one left me cold, but this week is about prayer and it just blew me away.  One of my assignments is to write three prayers to a god.  I chose Thor, who I love, and since the prayer had to request something, this is what I've written:

You are the one who stands between the dwellers of Midgard and the powers of destruction.
You feed the people, bring rain to the thirsty fields, and gather the thralls to yourself.
You strike with skill and never cringe from battling chaos, even on the fatal day of Ragnarok.

SGT R(agnvaldsdottir) asks you for your guidance and example, for your courage, straightforwardness and fighting spirit.  These are what I see in you, and I want to be a model of these myself.

As an NCO, may I show the same protectiveness to those in my care as you do to all who live in Midgard.  Hail!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Further to my last entry

My 94 year old grandmother has had a stroke.  She's compos mentis and can get around with a walker.  She's currently in a rehab facility and my mom is trying to get her into a home closer to where my parents live.  The home is run by nuns.  My mom and grandmother are both very pious Catholics, and my mom's aggressive pursuit of the EWTN version of the religion is one of the things that makes it easier for me to have severed ties with it.

This has left me in a little bit of a bind.  I love my grandmother, I want her to get better and I want her to live closer to my parents.  Asatru only has little bits of lore about healing left.  There's the goddess Eir, "best of physicians", the Merseburg charms and some rune work.  That's extremely sketchy, but humans being humans, the medieval Germans and Scandinavians must have had prayers to say or rituals to perform when a relative or friend was sick or injured. 

It then struck me that it wouldn't be right at all to invoke a goddess or spell for the benefit of a sick Catholic.  After further reflection, it dawned on me that since my grandmother is devoted to Jesus and Mary, as a polytheist who doesn't deny their existence as deities, I can simply pray to them for her! 

This is why renouncing a god or holy figure one revered in the years before converting to paganism is not a good idea.  The gods of your past or not, they're still gods.  Like people from your past who may unexpectedly be interviewed for your top secret clearance, you hope they are at worst neutral on you.  I may not be Latin Rite Christian anymore, but my living family and serveral centuries of ancestors are.  I want my mom to be able to place grandmother close to her, and for grandmother to get better, so off to their patron deity I go.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Meanwhile, over at Patheos....

Patheos.com is a marvelous clearinghouse of religious articles and blogs, from the atheist to the Zen.  The recent "notable atheist who is converting to Catholicism", Leah Libresco, has her online home there.  (She has always been more of an agnostic, and she is only noteworthy because of Patheos and that she is converting to Catholicism, but I digress.)

"The House of Vines" is by genuinely noteworthy Dionysus worshipper Sannion.  Sannion is an ex-Catholic I believe, but even if he's not, he still has the passion for the very mythic, ecstatic and syncretistic side of Catholicism, particularly as it is found in Sicily. (Madonna di Tindari in the casa!)

Star Foster, editor of the Pagan Portal of Patheos, recently wrote a column named, "Why I Reject Jesus".  There's already been two columns in response, both of which are kind of what I'm thinking about what she has to say.  All the links are in the comments, after Sannion's very funny take on it.