U is for Unlearning Things

I don’t know why I wanted to do this topic more than any other this week. It has come to mind as I’ve embarked on this year of path-building. I’ve been taking a look back over my beliefs and practices, trying to sort out what I want to keep and what to ditch. In switching from reconstructionism to syncretism, too, I have to unlearn a lot about how I do things, and shift my mind into a different place.

Perhaps it’s one of those processes that’s vital to do properly when you’re converting from one religion to another, to dissect the old beliefs, figure out why they’re not relevant anymore, make peace with them, and let them go. I knew I needed to do that in particular with Kemetic Orthodoxy, to shift out of that way of doing things as completely as I could so I could begin path-building with as much of a clean slate as I could.

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U is for UPG and Reconstructionism

I’m either brave or stupid for tackling the topic of Unverified Personal Gnosis, right? It’s, like, the cornerstone of much of the Pagan and Recon communities in how they conceptualise their religious experiences. I feel like it’s got a ‘Mess With This At Your Peril’ sign hanging off it.

*shrugs, charges in anyway*

You see, I have Thoughts about it that I’m not expecting everyone to agree with, or even adopt for themselves. But I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, particularly as I try and figure out where I am in relation to reconstructionist religions, and how our approaches differ. I’ll add that I will mostly be talking about Kemetic reconstructionism, though, for anyone playing at home, as it’s the one I have the most experience with. It may not ring true for any other flavours of reconstructionism. It probably doesn’t and nor is it meant to.

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Q is for Questioning and Doubt

I’ve been a little busy lately, and I’ve got one P post to catch up with. IDK if it’ll be the Pokémon one though. I’ve written about four drafts, and hated all of them, so maybe I’ll have to think of something else for P. Or, alternatively, try drafting the fucker one more time to see if I can make it say what I want it to say. Either way, I owe you another P post, so that should turn up at some point. My Fridays are too busy atm. D:

I also wanted to do Queer Paganism for one of my Q entries, but I still don’t know what to write about that either, so I’m going to leave that one for next week, or, alternatively, until I have more of an idea of what it is apart from ‘I DON’T KNOW’ and ‘QUEER GODS YAY’, which wouldn’t make for much of a post.

So, in light of that, this week’s is about questioning and doubt. Because I’ve been feeling a lot of that lately as well, and it’s been on my mind. I’ve been having this period where I’m just disconnected from everything. I know the Gods are there; I just can’t feel Them. I don’t often feel that way, but it kind of hit me hard, and I wasn’t expecting it. I was trying to get back into the habit of daily devotions, and the rite I was using wasn’t calling to me. I felt like I was just going through the motions, and there was no reason to do it. I didn’t feel anything for it, so I stopped.

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O is for On Your Own

I could do this topic under ‘s’ for Solitary Practice, but I’ve already got Samhain and Sobek down for my S topics, so this is what I’ve got left. And I think ‘on my own’ is broad enough to cover all the various ways in which I’m on my own, so perhaps it’s better I write about this here than under ‘Solitary’.

I’ve always been a solitary Pagan. Mostly out of choice, and partly out of having no one else to practice with. I think practing with someone else only works if you share enough of a religious path to feel like you’re both doing the same things. But I think my path is one that is so much my own that finding someone else with enough in common would be quite difficult.

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M is for Meditation on Existence

If there’s any advantage at all in being late with this week’s post, it’s that I needed the time to think about what to write about. I was inherently uninspired this week and then the weekend happened and I met my 8 week old niece for the first time and I finally feel like I have time to myself to think about what to write for this week’s post.

I did have Grand Plans for a post about Mary and Her relationship to me. I also thought about writing about Magic(k), but then decided I didn’t really know how to explain it in coherent words so I ditched that idea too. Then I thought about mothering, and how I relate to mothers and mothering as a queer pagan. Then perhaps some sort of post about monotheism? What about meditation? Or Ma’at?

It’s now after 11pm, and actually, I still don’t really know what to write about. Most of my weekend has consisted of babies and relatives and family, as well as proving to myself that I have no mothering instinct when it comes to babies. I have no idea what to do with babies. Cats? Sure. Cats I can do. But not babies.

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D is for Defining Your Path as an Eclectic Pagan

It’s occurred to me lately that describing myself as an eclectic pagan makes no sense to non-pagans. It seems like a peculiarity of paganism, that it has the concept of eclectic practice. And when I think about it, it is a strange concept to have, but totally understandable in the context of the broad range of faiths and practices found under the pagan umbrella.

This occurred to me as I pondered whether or not a non-pagan would understand what was meant by eclectic paganism without me having to explain it. And, really, I find it’s hard not to want to specify further when using it as a description, because it doesn’t have any intrinsic meaning compared to Asatru or Wiccan, for example. In the sense that it doesn’t describe a thing, it’s a method, if method is the right way to describe it. Eclectic pagan doesn’t tell you anything about someone’s path, except the fact that it’s eclectic. Unless further information is given, it’s a bit pointless to use.

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