Notable and quotable 17

Some recent posts that I have enjoyed.

Atheopagan practice and mental illness

Mental health issues and ritual can be combined, and indeed have been for thousands of years, as Mark Green points out:

People have been addressing their mental illnesses through ritual practices that support their self-esteem, their optimism, and their sense of beauty in living for thousands of years. Today, benefiting from the accumulated wisdom and technical knowledge about how to create effective rituals from all those centuries of human history, we can do good for ourselves by having a regular ritual practice.

And this applies just as much to practising other Pagan paths.

Do the gods call people?

The expectation of being called by a deity can be seriously deleterious to one’s mental health if the wrong deity comes calling. So this is a timely post from Melas the Hellene discussing whether the gods actually call people. I think they sometimes do inspire people to do specific things but feel that some of the claims from some sections of the polytheist community are a bit much. I think we should practice careful discernment about all messages from the numinous.

Religion in the traditional sense of “religio” is about correct practice and clear thinking (as passed down), as opposed to the “superstitio” of malpractice and fear. By rephrasing the question then into one of “Would a God …?”, it becomes proper and reasonable. So if it were asked “Would a God choose an individual to worship them?”, the answer would be no, because the Gods need not do so while they (still) watch over their respective peoples and cultures where they at first arose as well as their own divine families and tribes. The Gods would not choose individuals except for very, very few people who have extraordinary gifts such as those we see in myths…

Ynys Witrin

Lorna Smithers delves into the lore of glass and of seeing face to face. I do wonder what the original Greek of the quote “now we see as in a glass, darkly” was, though. If it was “as in a mirror, darkly” (in the 16th century, a mirror was referred to as a glass) then in the time of Paul, it would have referred to a bronze mirror. Anyway, this is a really interesting post on the significance of glass and faces in Brythonic mythology. It also shows a surprisingly destructive aspect of Arthur. Hashtag #NotMyOnceAndFutureKing.

This imagery interests me, as a Brythonic polytheist and devotee of Gwyn ap Nudd, because in a number of texts his castle is described as being made of glass or crystal and surrounded by water. In The Life of St Collen, Gwyn is depicted seated on a golden throne in ‘the fairest castle’ Collen ‘had ever beheld’ on Glastonbury Tor.

Turkish Coffee

Kat Coffin on teaching English to a Syrian lady.

I can’t imagine leaving my home with three young children, to come to a country where I only speak a few words.  Her goals are simple and direct.  Learn English.  Make sure her sons learn English.  Learn to drive.  These seemingly simple steps are key to independence here, to life here.

Reaping what we sow

A beautiful Lammas post from The River Crow reflecting on the harvest of climate change, and the sowing of better seeds.

Standing in the face of the whirlwind, it’s hard to see beyond the despair. I do believe that we will lose a lot of what we love in the years ahead, but I also believe we will gain much, and we will, ultimately, win. I see the new generation, especially young girls who are standing in their power and demanding the old, patriarchal order make way, and I see hope. I see the seeds of a new and better harvest.