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Posts Tagged ‘honesty’

Honesty and Truth; Self Identification and Communal Identity

November 1, 2013 Leave a comment

I was reading a post by Aine Llewellyn on identification at Patheos.com and I thought about my own identity.

How did I come to know who and what I am?

I looked for something to identify with myself, a model or series of models to compare, contrast, follow, and reject. It necessitated looking at how others described themselves, seeing which words fit best. This is part of every person’s foundation. Self-identification and self-definition cannot happen in a bubble. While it is personal to some degree for much of our lives identity is communally developed.

Consensus reality is built with a standardized understanding of the world around us. Even with words that have their own continuum, words such as hot/cold, good/bad, etc. there must be a root knowledge of what is being described and compared for any meaning to be built. To understand hot we must understand ‘hotness’ just as we must understand cold by its ‘coldness’. We must also understand where those dividing lines are defined, even if it is relatively arbitrary. Without these foundations there is nothing for meaning, or identity to build on. These basic identifiers of reality then expand outward to more complex topics, such as religion.

If identity cannot be built in isolation how can identity take such as central role when only defined by oneself? If self-identification is all that matters what would the point of words, let alone consensus-based reality, matter?

I recognize that writing this post is, in and of itself, setting a healthy powder keg with ample matches nearby. To even address identity in so straightforward a manner can be viewed as threatening, confrontational, fundamentalist, or simply being a jerk. Or all of the above. It is not my intent, either in writing this or pointing out Aine Llewellyn’s post, to be antagonizing. It my intent to make some points on things I feel very strongly and develop constructive, needed dialogue.

If I cannot point to x, y, or z and discern x from y, y from z, and so on, what is the use of words? Words can, by their nature, restrict meaning, but it also gives us the means to sharing and understanding meaning with ourselves and with one another. In so doing it gives us the means to understanding, appreciating, and developing meaning itself.

Words like hot and cold exist on a spectrum, yet we can say that hot is not cold and cold is not hot; to say otherwise is to destroy the meaning of both words, and the concept for each completely falls apart. We can say where freezing is, where lukewarm (aka room temperature) is, and where the boiling point is for water, both in terms of scientific measurement, and in terms of common parlance. That is why I sincerely believe that exclusionary definitions must come into use, and be respected, in order that our words mean anything. If ‘Pagan’ is to mean anything substantive, at some point we must confess that hot does not equal cold, and thereby, cold does not equal hot. While pinpointing where that dividing line is may take some work on our part, it is a necessary thing.

I cannot, as a polytheist, animist, a priest of two Gods and a Northern Tradition shaman, walk into a Catholic Church and declare myself Catholic with any honesty or in truth. I do not believe, think, or have the worldview of a Catholic. As importantly, I do not attend Mass, believe in the Nicene Creed, or perform the sacraments, hold the Roman Catholic Church as my authority figure, or Jesus Christ as my Savior and YHVH as my God. For me to say “I am Catholic” would not be honest or true. I am not only ill-suited to being Catholic but it would be dishonest and untrue of me to identify as one.

I use the words ‘honest’ and ‘true’ because of their definition:
Honest: “free of deceit and untruthfulness; sincere”
True: “in accordance with fact or reality”

So one may be totally honest in the presentation of their feelings but untrue in what reality is. One may sincerely believe believe that a hot cup of tea is in fact cold, even while steam rises from it.

Would honoring St. Francis de Assisi, to the point of setting aside a shrine for him where I could commune with him and leave him offerings, make me a Catholic? Absolutely not. I would be a polytheist animist honoring the spirit of a man who deeply touched my life, whose namesake I took when I was Confirmed, and whose prayers I still enjoy.

To even try to breach this boundary would be an insult, if not a direct affront to myself, my Gods, many if not all of my Ancestors (polytheist and monotheist), many, if not all of the spirits I call friends and allies, and my Elders. It would equally be an insult to YHVH, the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, devout Catholics, Catholic priests, bishops, cardinals, and the Pope. In short, I would be honoring nothing and insulting everyone.

What of those Catholics (few, I imagine, given my experiences in the Church) who are in between the points of boundaries, such as those who think you can be Catholic and worship Gods? What of those Pagans who believe that the words ‘Pagan’ and ‘Paganism’ should mean whatever their user wishes them to mean? At some point there needs to be a consideration on whose voice matters, why, and for what reason their words should be recognized as honest or dishonest, true or untrue, valid or invalid.

A layperson in the Roman Catholic religion may make all the pronouncements on Church doctrine that they wish, and for all they may articulate their position well, with full citations from accepted Church sources, they will not be an authority within the Catholic Church. A layperson has no power to set theology, doctrine, or ways of conducting oneself within that religion. Few forms of Christianity exist which allows their laypeople to have this authority.

If one is truthfully and honestly identifying themselves as a Catholic then, according to the doctrine of the Church, you are placing yourself under its authority. If one is to truthfully and honestly self-identify as a Catholic you cannot be anything other than a Catholic who adheres to the beliefs of the Church. These are part of the rules laid out by the communal body of the Church through its doctrines and theology. These are the rules that one accepts, even if one disagrees with them and is seeking change within the Church, as part of being identified as a member of the Church. You can personally identify as a Catholic, going to Church, and believing as you will, even being fully polytheist, and your feelings may be completely honest and true in and of yourself, that you feel that way and identify as a Catholic. However, it will not be honest or truthful in regards tobeing Catholic.

A Pagan operating purely from personal gnosis alone will likely not be accepted as any kind of authority within reconstructionist circles no matter how fervent their beliefs or powerful their experiences. A reconstructionist Heathen will probably not be an authority figure within British Traditional Wicca. Pagan communities already practice discernment as to whose identification is accepted, who is an authority figure, and who is part of the community’s in-crowd. However, it is seen as rude and/or outwardly hostile when one tries to apply any rubric of discernment in determining who belongs to the larger Pagan community.

At this moment, one can truthfully and honestly identify themselves as Pagan regardless of personal theology. Among a great many, one of the differences between the Christian and Pagan communities is that Pagan communities each have their own standards as to who belongs. Some of these standards may be so lax as to be nonexistent. Some Pagan communities have no standards of belief and/or practice whatsoever, accepting all comers to the identification. Others, by contrast, are quite strict in their definition of who belongs to their particular community, while others’ boundaries are quite porous while still having a core of adherence required. In the case of Paganism, as it exists right now, the only way to identify a Pagan is to have one identify themselves.

In order for Pagan to gain more substantive meaning it needs to be become more exclusive. Why should Pagans embrace exclusionary statements? If there are 30,000 or so (and growing) denominations of Christianity, why not follow suit and embrace as many variations of ‘Pagan’ as come to the term?

Christianity as a whole discerns between itself and other religions in its namesake and its theological position. To be Christian is to follow Christ. That marks it as different from other monotheist religions as well. It is exclusionary in its very name, demarking itself from all other religions in that Christ, regardless of what denomination one follows, is the head of the religion and that one is a follower of Christ. There is no such thing in Paganism. There is no positive differentiation between Pagans and other faiths. We are defined by negative differentiation, by not being Christian, Muslim, Jewish, Shinto, etc. In other words, we are not even self-identified.

The Pagan identity is all but completely constructed outside of our communities. There is no absolute baseline for belief as the term is used today. There is not even a requirement for belief in a God or a Goddess, let alone Gods or Goddesses. Nor are there requirements for even a belief in a spirit, let alone spirits. If the word ‘Pagan’ and ‘Paganism’ communicates essentially nothing in terms of belief within our own communities, and communicates little to nothing of our beliefs when used by other religions as an identifier, what good is it as a description for any belief, let alone an umbrella of them?

By contrast, there is a profession of belief in declaring oneself a polytheist. It is simple and direct: the belief in many Gods. Individual groups within the polytheist communities may have different standards of belonging, belief, right action, right practice, ethics, etc. but the uniting factor is that belief is actually involved and it is in many Gods. This definition excludes atheists, monotheists, monists, and others, but that is what makes it an effective word: it does not say ‘the belief in Gods if you can believe in Them’, or ‘the absolute belief that the Gods are x, y, z, etc”, merely that one believes that many Gods exist.

If ‘Pagan’, ‘Paganism’, and related terms are to be of use they must be more than negatively outwardly-defined. They must be internally defined, and, more importantly, positively defined with a clear meaning.  

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The Religious Implications of Peak Oil

April 22, 2013 7 comments

For those who do not know what Peak Oil is, a quick summary:

Peak Oil is a term that means that we have hit the peak of oil production which can meet global demand for it.  Simply put, a peak occurs when demand outstrips production.  There are plenty of online resources, some of which are here: The Oil Drum and Peak Oil, among a great many others.  For a great, ongoing discussion of the implication of Peak Oil and his own exploration of the religious implications of Peak Oil, among a great many other topics, Archdruid John Michael Greer’s The Archdruid Report is one of the best I have seen.

Rather than discuss the science and charts and such, since I have, compared to others, a limited layman’s understanding of Peak Oil, I wanted to dive right into what Peak Oil can mean for us as Pagans.

What are the religious implications of Peak Oil?

Gebo is Foremost

Gebo means gift for a gift, and for a long time the West has been able to, by and large, ignore its share of Gebo to nature and the poor.

If Western society has a chief ill it is that it seeks something for nothing.  Capitalism’s strength is predicated upon infinite exponential growth when, realistically speaking, this is not possible.  There are hard limits to growth, whether it is the forest providing timber, the mine providing gold, or the computer number-crunching.  All things have their limit, and without respect to that, disaster is inevitable because all future hopes and plans hinge on a single method of interacting with the world.  So, my understanding is that the first implication of Peak Oil is that Gebo must come before all else.

Naudhiz is the Measure of All Things

Naudhiz translates to need or distress.  In this, I am primarily thinking of need, and the maxim “What does it do?  How well does it do it?” becoming the measure by which all things will be measured.  Do I need this electronic device?  Can I break it down or build it up into something more useful?  Will this get in the way of me being productive?  If it breaks down, what can I do with it?  Can I repair it?  Do I need it or a replacement if I cannot repair it?

Naudhiz is the rubbing together of two sticks to make fire.  It is the necessary work needing to be done to survive, if not begin to thrive.  It is the laundry getting done, the garden planted, the animals fed, etc.  Whatever work is needing to be done so things progress.  Getting busted down this hard to basics is not something a lot of people in America are used to, though with half of America officially in poverty that is quickly changing.  What can I truly live without?  What am I willing to do to make it?  Hard questions that more are asking, and many more yet need to ask.  Once we know Gebo it is easier to measure what must be done.  It is far better to voluntarily start the process of asking these questions when you may have abundance than to wait until you must get answers on the fly.  Naudhiz is a good measure to budget by once Gebo is known.  In knowing the limits of what is asked, and what you can deliver via Gebo, you can best know what you need, and from there, determine how to meet that need in exploring Naudhiz.

Right Relationship

While this is part of Gebo it also deserves direct mention.  Right relationship is the idea that there is a way we should interact with and within the world.  It means not dumping chemicals on your lawn just so it looks green.  It means not ripping up every bit of habitat around us for more parking structures or development space for single-story, large, wasteful, polluting businesses.  Right relationship implies that we not only understand the aforementioned limits of our society, its reach, or the environmental impact we have, but respecting that limits and staying well within them.  It means remediation of wild places and a radically different way of life.  In respecting that we have stretched much of our environment to its breaking point, local, as well as State and national ways of doing things will need to change.  Each person’s situation will be different, but one way we can reduce rampant consumption and its many branching effects is conservation.  Conserve electricity, water, food, everything your life depends on that you need can, past a certain point, be conserved.  Even if you yourself do not garden, conserving food where possible and composting it where it is not, or handing it to a neighbor or friend, will make much better use of food and landfill space.

More than anything else we need to reduce our rampant consumption here in the West, especially America.  We consume 25% of the world’s resources with only 5% of its overall population.  This equation needs to change if we are to live in right relationship with the world around us.

Looking to Our Ancestors

Modern society provides very little actual grounding for living.  Unless you are taking classes in school with practical application, such as a Home Economics course, or if you are in a homeschooling situation where people are preparing you for the real world, modern society has more or less thrown up its collective hands in teaching or instilling much in terms of practical lessons.  Most Americans do not know how to grow food, much less how to make fire.  Repairing things is almost entirely a lost art; rather, we are encouraged to buy the new thing.  Repair shops used to be a nationwide phenomena.  If something broke, you fixed it.  Without throwing on rosy-colored glasses or romanticizing the past, either recent Americana or further back, there were a good number of practical skills a person, or someone close to you, might know that make sense for us to retain into a world beyond Peak Oil.

What does this have to do with Ancestors?  Everything.  Our Ancestors at some point or another had to live off the land.  The occupation for 90% of Americans, at one point, was farming.  In a post Peak Oil time, while we may not get back to that 90%, we are going to need to devote more of our energy to it.  This will mean regaining skills we have not used, or wholesale reskilling ourselves to the task at hand.  My grandfather collects old farm tools.  Seeing these I can see the Ancestors’ hands on them, and how these tools are ancestors themselves to the electrical and gas-powered machines we have today.  Far better we learn to use these older machines, and start demand for them now, than having to completely reinvent the wheel and/or play catch-up.

This can be a form of working with, if not worshiping our Ancestors in a very direct way.  Everyone has Ancestors who were farmers.  They tilled the soil, they knew how hard it can be to grow things.  Does everything they did work for us?  No, certainly not.  My German Ancestors worked different soil, but many of the lessons translate well.  The point is, is that by and large farming itself has not grown by leaps and bounds in terms of its basic ingredients or complexity.  It is merely the scale that has become so huge, so complex.  Our Ancestors hold many of the keys to future prosperity, whether we find that in how we raise our crops, our houses, or our communities.  Will everything our Ancestors did be right for our age?  No, but the collective wisdom They hold is worth at the least considering, if not employing in our lives.

Industriousness

Using a hand-cranked masher, I made pear sauce last year and sealed them in mason jars.  No sugar added, just three large, sealed mason jars full of pears that will keep for a good long while.  This is something my parents and grandparents have done most of their lives, something that was not passed down to me until I demanded to be taught it.  Will it keep me alive through a harsh winter?  Well, no, not just on canned pears, but it, and similar skills will, even if the post Peak Oil future is a generation or so down the road, save me a lot of money.  Think of how much we spend on canned goods, frozen goods.  Growing it yourself is a savings of a large chunk of money, especially if you can do it well.  Money does grow on trees because food is real wealth you can put in your mouth.

What does this have to do with religion?  Religion is a framework through which we understand our place in the Worlds.  Industriousness, what we do with ourselves on a regular basis, is an important part of that.  We have, in our Pagan traditions, Gods of the hearth, the home, and certain crafts.  When I clean I dedicate that work to Frigga and Frau Holle.  When I till the Earth or plant, I dedicate that Work to Jörð, Freyr, and Gerda, depending on where I am planting and what I am planting.  I speak with the landvaettir as well as  Jörð, Freyr, and Gerda prior to planting, when setting up the space, when working within the space, and when harvesting.  I hail Nidhogg and Hel when I take out the compost.

The point of a religious life is that the Work of that life does not stop at the temple, church, or shrine.  It is enlivened by the Work done in the temple, church, or shrine, and extends into every area in which one lives and breathes and works.  The world is full of holiness if we would recognize it.  So when you put yourself to work, whether at a computer, a field, someone’s home, or the living room, it is a time that the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits can be honored, praised, and involved in your life.  In this way, I see Pagan religion not so much practiced as it is lived, and industriousness is one key way in which we can connect to the Gods, Ancestors, and spirits.

Wealth

I mentioned something in the last section that I want to dig into a bit more: Money does grow on trees because food is real wealth you can put in your mouth.  Most ancient societies judged the wealth of a person by how much stuff they had.  In the Germanic and Norse case, it was cattle and grains.  They, rather than currency, were markers of wealth because if you had lots of cows and/or grain you had lots of land, people to work that land, raise those animals, etc.  Food and land equaled wealth.  What is often remarked upon as wealth, calculated in numbers that most human minds reel at fathoming, is basically numbers in a computer.  I cannot eat the ones and zeroes any more than I can the paper they are now represented by.  It is not what I would call ‘real’ wealth.

Peak Oil destroys the concept of fiat currency, which is the economic regime we currently live under in most of the world, because the US dollar is predicated on growth and is not backed by anything.  It is essentially a thoughtform which we have agreed upon, saying that ‘the full faith and credit of the US Federal Reserve is so good it can be used to pay debts’.  It is, in essence, a massive act of faith that keeps the economy chugging along, and all it would take is something like Peak Oil, or people switching en masse over to the Euro to destroy a good deal of its so-called wealth.

Cows, meanwhile, do not lose inherent value because the dollar tanks, the Euro rises, or the whole global economic system comes crashing around our heads.  The cow will still eat grass, chew cud, produce milk, and be a viable meat source.  The grain in the field will still grow, be able to be produced into bread and countless other things, regardless of how commodities pricing is.  Both still have inherent value not propped up by a largely fabricated economic system.  When a fiat currency’s users no longer have faith in it the currency has no value period, and it never had inherent value, beyond perhaps being able to be smelted in the case of coins, or burned in the case of fiber-based paper currency.  The ones and zeroes in a machine have no lasting impact upon us or use for us when the system collapses; it does not produce more money, does not regenerate, and has no connection to real wealth once the glamour is broken.  It is telling that the Germanic/Norse God Freyr is a God of agriculture and of wealth.

There are several warnings about wealth and greed in ancient Pagan religion, but using the Hávamál as an example, it is more concerned with wealth in terms of coins and gold, in other words currency wealth, in these warnings, and often reminds the reader/listener that this wealth is transitory at best, and fickle.  Meanwhile true wealth stays with one long-term and is found in friendship and good company.  It is that understanding of wealth that is key.  To not only understanding what is more important in terms of material wealth, but what is true wealth, and what will truly help in the long term.  One may stock food for some eventuality, but once that store is gone, what use is it if there is no one to lean on, no food to grow?  You starve.  As Freyr is the God of both agriculture and wealth, I see one of His lessons is that if one establishes a good relationship with the land they live on, one may truly be said to be wealthy.

 

So where is wealth to be found?  In good friends, in hard work, and in doing well by others.  In working with the land and living beings, and doing right by both.  In other words, by living in Gebo and right relationship with others and the world around you, meeting you and your family’s/community’s/etc. needs, and in being industrious.

Crafting

The religious implication of crafting could be an entire post on its own.  The first Goddess that comes to my mind is Frigga, the spinner, the weaver, the homemaker, Who spins Wyrd.  Wow.  Just think about that for a moment: one of the Asynjur is the one who spins the primal stuff of potential into what was, what is, and what will will be.  It is said She knows all Wyrd but will not speak of it.  That is power.  In a legend Her favored army beat Her husband’s army, Who is a renowned God of battle, cunning, and skill.  Our Goddesses of crafting, of homemaking, and the hearth are neither to be underestimated, nor belittled.  They are powerful, holy, and glorious in Their own rights.

We underestimate craftswomen and craftsmen to our own detriment.  We buy inferior, polluting products from countries who allow their workers to burn when the factory is on fire.  Our food comes to us out of season on the backs of millions of underpaid and exploited farmers from other countries while our own crops rot in the field because large-scale agriculture relies on illegal workers.  Many of the arts that would produce these goods closer to home are becoming more and more scarce despite our wealth of able-bodied workers.  If Peak Oil is to be navigated effectively crafting will need to come back into its own, and the way to make this transition easier and far less haphazard is to support it now, both in terms of the current generation and those coming up in it.  This support needs to be as much from the ground up as possible, including spinners as well as clothing makers, those who harvest clay to those who shape with it.

In short, in supporting crafting the supply chain needs, as much as is possible, to be returned back to the local level and scaled to the local level’s needs to start with.  Sure, we can grow bigger, perhaps this town has an excessive amount of sheep and supplies wool to its neighbors, and they have cows and supply butter, yogurt and milk to theirs.  Still, Peak Oil’s biggest challenge is to stop consuming like there’s no tomorrow and rework our methods of producing back down to local, but scale-able design.

The religious implication here is that in supporting this from the ground up, and reworking our supply chain in such a way, even if our neighbors do not worship the Gods we do we can still bring our religious values in line, particularly in the belief that this world is holy, as is the work we do, and so can the things we support.  In this case we instill that in our everyday life by supporting change, by building up our neighbors so we may all thrive.  We make this change part of an unfolding of our religious values, especially suited to an age where acting in Gebo and right relationship are not just niceties but keys to survival.

Peak Oil as a Whole

Peak Oil is a direct challenge to many of the ideas that we as Americans have gotten used to: that we can spend our way to a better future, that conservation is no longer a needed thing, that consumption is growing the economy, that we can spend what we have like we will have it tomorrow, and that there can be growth without limits.  It directly attacks American exceptionalism, hegemony, empire, and our place in the world.  Peak Oil is our society hitting the limits on our ability to tap the resources we need for our modern lifestyle.  Peak Oil’s coming does not mean we have to all go into a neo-primitive lifestyle, although that is, to my mind, a viable option for some.  What it does mean is that Gebo, right relationship, meeting our needs on a consistent basis, looking to our Ancestors, supporting our crafters, and engaging in industriousness at all levels will be necessary.

To religion Peak Oil is a direct challenge: do your instructions, traditions, orthodoxy, orthopraxy, etc. aid the survival or hasten the destruction of human life and well-being, now and in the future?  Do your religious views, institutions, etc. provide comfort, direction, purpose, and empowerment to living in a way that is geared towards LESS (Less Energy, Stuff, and Stimulation) while providing hope for the future?  Do your religious leaders provide focal points for community building, or are they needlessly divisive and disruptive to cohabitation and cooperation in age where both are key to survival?  Does religious instruction raise children equipped to handle the world as it is, or is it looking forever backward or forward at some mythic Golden Age, trapped in worlds to come that will not arrive?

There are many more questions, and they will be answered by each person as much as each priest, by each religious institution as by each religious community.  Yet they are worth pondering, as surely as it is how we, as Pagans, as fellow citizens in this country, will navigate the near future.

I invite anyone who wants to engage in this dialogue to comment here, to reblog, and start more conversations on this topic.

Loki Project Day 26

July 26, 2012 Leave a comment

You’re called the Lie-Smith

But You’ve been the one Who

Keeps me Truthful and on track like no one else

 

Each little lie I tell myself

You force me to see,

Crawling on my tongue like a corpse covered in maggots

 

You push me to speak the truth

A burning in the back of my mind

Till my lips open and the God on my tongue lets fly

 

You make me go easy on myself

When I really just want to flay my soul

Holding me back with a look or a word

 

Every time I want to be silent

When it would be convenient or not cause trouble

There You are, prompting me to speak

 

So I raise my Voice, Loki

In all its forms

And thank You

My Horarium

April 17, 2011 Leave a comment

Note: This is a general schedule and will probably change according to needs, such as finding a job, or going to a meeting.

Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday

Rise:                                                    6:30 a.m.
Early Morning Prayers:                       7:00 a.m. – 7:15 a.m.
Breakfast:                                            7:15 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Planning the Day/Divination:             8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Sacred Reading/Reflections on Lore: 9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Study or Work:                                   10:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Midday Prayer:                                   12:00 p.m. – 12:15 p.m
Lunch:                                                 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Manual Labor or Exercise:                  1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Recreation:                                          5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Evening Prayers:                                 6:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Dinner:                                                6:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Sacred Reading/Conferring:               7:00 p.m. – 8:00 p.m.
Sleep:                                                  10:00 p.m.

Wednesday

Note: Wednesday is a day dedicated to Odin.  It is my Day of Silence, and a day I dedicate in deep connection to Him throughout the day.

Rise:                                                    6:30 a.m.
Early Morning Prayers:                       7:00 a.m. – 7:15 a.m.
Early Morning Ritual:                         7:15 a.m. -7:45 a.m.
Breakfast:                                            7:45 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Planning the Day/Divination:             8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
Sacred Reading/Reflections on Lore: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Study or Work:                                   11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Midday Prayer:                                   12:00 p.m. – 12:15 p.m
Lunch:                                                 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Study or Work:                                   1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
Manual Labor or Exercise:                  4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Recreation:                                          5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Evening Prayers:                                 6:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Dinner:                                                6:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Silent Prayer:                                       7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Sacred Reading/Conferring:               7:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
Sacred Silence/Meditation:                 8:15 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
3rd High Ritual:                                  9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sleep:                                                  10:00 p.m.

Sunday

Rise:                                                    6:30 a.m.
Early Morning Prayers:                       7:00 a.m. – 7:15 a.m.
Early Morning Ritual:                         7:15 a.m. -7:45 a.m.
Breakfast:                                            7:45 a.m. – 8:30 a.m.
Planning the Day/Divination:             8:30 a.m. – 9:00 a.m.
1st High Ritual:                                   9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.
Sacred Reading/Reflections on Lore: 10:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Study or Work:                                   11:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Midday Prayer:                                   12:00 p.m. – 12:15 p.m
Lunch:                                                 12:15 p.m. – 1:00 p.m.
Study or Work:                                   1:00 p.m. – 3:00 p.m.
2nd High Ritual:                                 3:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m.
Manual Labor or Exercise:                  4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.
Recreation:                                          5:00 p.m. – 6:00 p.m.
Evening Prayers:                                 6:00 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.
Dinner:                                                6:15 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
Silent Prayer:                                       7:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Sacred Reading/Conferring:               7:30 p.m. – 8:15 p.m.
Sacred Silence/Meditation:                 8:15 p.m. – 9:00 p.m.
3rd High Ritual:                                  9:00 p.m. – 10:00 p.m.
Sleep:                                                  10:00 p.m.

Meaning of Terms for My Horarium

Rise:  When I awake from sleep.  Prayers of thanks for waking or the day may be offered.

Early Morning Prayers:  These are prayers to praise and ask for blessings from the spirits of the early morning sun, landvaettir, Ancestors (Disir and Alfar), Gods and Goddesses.  It is to ground and center myself and prepare myself for the work of the day.

Early Morning Ritual:  This ritual is to invigorate myself for the day’s works, to align myself with the Gods and vaettir, and to praise Them.  The early morning ritual will likely consist of staðagaldr, mantras, cleansing, and other rituals that encourage proper energy flow and connection with the Gods and spirits.

Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner:  Given I am diabetic, I have to plan out when I eat and place them in points that will be best for my diet.  I will eat snacks as needed throughout the day, but I didn’t figure I needed to put it in the schedule.

Planning the Day/Divination:  Something I used to do that I want to get back in the habit of doing, is reading a Rune or set of Runes once a day.  This is a connective practice to the Runes, helping me to plan the Study or Work section, and/or seeing what lessons I may have for that day, or what things I need to contemplate.

High Ritual:  The High Rituals are designed to connect to Gods, Goddesses, Ancestors, spirits, or other beings in a deep, rich way.  The entire focus of the ritual is around the singular Goddess, God, Ancestor, landvaettir, etc., on developing a connection to Them.  This is not a ritual where things are done, such as utiseta or seidr, unless the Gods/spirits ask.  This is a time for worship, devotion, and connection.  The High Rituals are planned around factors of three, a sacred number to begin with as Odin, Vili and Ve made the world.

The 1st High Ritual is experienced at 9 a.m. in dedication to the Nine Worlds of Yggdrasil.

The 2nd High Ritual is experienced at 3 p.m. in dedication to the Sacred Three who existed at or before Creation: Auðumla, Ymir, and Surt, and to the creators of Midgard: Odin, Vili, and Ve.  Other triads that may be seen is Kari the North Wind, Logi the hungering Fire, and Ran the thieving Sea, or .

The 3rd High Ritual is experienced at 9 p.m. in the evening in dedication to the Nine Days that Odin hung on the Tree.  It may also symbolize the time it took for Hermod to ride the Nine Nights to ask for Balder’s release from Hel.

Each High Ritual may have a thematic component, although this may change day-to-day as needs arise or the Gods communicate:

The 1st may be organized around a singular God/dess or spirit of one of the Nine Worlds.

It may also be a time to organize one’s day, spiritually, and align with the Gods, spirits, etc.

The 2nd may be organized around connecting to, worshiping, or thanking the primal creators.

It may also be a time to focus on physical, or immediately impactful spiritual work.

The 3rd may be organized around connecting to, praising, honoring, or communing with Odin.

It may also be a time to focus on work that lets go of old habits or embraces new, painful lessons.

Sacred Reading/Reflections on Lore:  Something I have been meaning to dedicate myself to is reading the lore and reflecting on its meanings.  Sacred reading is, to me, not about taking apart sacred poetry and examining it, but experiencing it.  It is about experiencing the spiritual truths in the surviving lore, reflecting perhaps even line-by-line on the Hávamál or Völuspá.  I am taking my direction in this from the ground of monastic sacred reading and Jewish sacred reading, in that the reading experience itself is a spiritual experience, as is the reflection on the meaning of the words, and meditations on the passages.

Study or Work:  This is time set aside to complete tasks, chores, and the like.  If needed, this is also the time set aside to study materials, such as to answer questions about lore, a practice, or an experience.  This is also the time to write blogs, read emails, and in general, do essential maintenance work for the physical part of my life.

 

Midday Prayers:  These are prayers to praise and ask for blessing from the spirits of the noonday sun, weather vaettir, landvaettir, Ancestors (Disir, and Alfar) and the Gods.  It is to keep my energy moving and my mind focused on the work of the day.

Manual Labor or Exercise:  To keep myself strong, and healthy, planning regular times for exercise or labor will be useful.  It is early enough in the day to do things, but not late in the day so that there is no sunlight.  A good many projects could be completed by continuously working on them, allowing me to keep healthy while doing it.  Keeping oneself grounded in physical work is as important as engaging in the intellectual and esoteric spiritual pursuits.

Recreation:  If I have learned anything from my experiences, it is that I did not give recreation its proper time.  Had I given myself time to relax, my weekends might have been more productive.  After all, I wouldn’t have cast aside time to recover from a week of work if I took time out to do that regularly.

Evening Prayers:  These are prayers to praise and ask for blessings from the spirits of the evening sun and/or moon, landvaettir, Ancestors (Disir and Alfar), Gods and Goddesses.  It is to ground and center myself, and rest from the work of the day.

Silent Prayer:  This is mindful, contemplative prayer that is done in absolute silence.  This is about the silence of the mind in prayer and connection to the Gods, Ancestors, vaettir, or with whomever else I wish to deepen my connection.

Sacred Reading/Conferring on Lore:  This is time set aside from Sacred Reading, as above, but also allows for time in group reflection on the lore, like with a book club or interfaith meeting.

Sleep:  When I go to sleep.  Prayers of thanksgiving, protection, and peace may be offered.

I devised the scheduling based on the Clear Creek Monastery’s Horarium and also used Our Lady of Guadalupe Seminary’s Horarium for inspiration.


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