recon pagan

Not being “Recon Enough” or How I stopped worrying and learnt to love my practice

I see a lot of newbies worrying about not being “recon enough”, or not wanting to label themselves as this or that type of polytheist because they don’t feel they do the right things. Well, I’m going to come out and say it: It’s ok. 

We all have to adapt practices to suit our lives. We don’t have temples we can go to, mystery cults we can join, or widely celebrated festivities we can attend. We do not live in the cultures whose practices we are trying to replicate, and that’s not a bad thing. I like living in modern day Britain (minus the current government but that’s not really relevant here). I don’t really want to live in ancient Hellas, where I probably wouldn’t be able to express my gender identity, sexuality, and disability in the way I want to, if I hadn’t already died from any number of illnesses. I like living in a society where I have the internet, where we don’t have slavery, and where women can vote and work and can be in the same room as a man without issue.

But you know that, reader, of course you do, you’re reading this on the internet so chances are you’re pretty happy combining the old with the new. You probably read a lot of post by other like-minded people, and if you’re anything like me, you compare them to yourself. Well do as I say and not as I do, my friend: Just because your practice isn’t exactly like another recon’s doesn’t make yours invalid. If you don’t have the space for a pretty altar or extravagant offerings, it’s ok. If you don’t have time to celebrate festivals with lengthy rituals because you’ve just got back from work and you’re on the early shift tomorrow, it’s ok. If you don’t have the spoons to cleanse, pray, or whatever, it’s ok. The gods will still love you. They understand that you’re doing all you can.

It’s ok if you cut corners sometimes. Me? I keep my khernips in a spray bottle and I read prayers in my head or at a whisper because I have a morbid fear of disturbing my housemates. I celebrate festivals days late because that’s when I can. I try to incorporate as much as I can from the ancient world, of course, but we all have our limits. 

Do I look at people who have a shrine for each of the 12 olympians and for the Cthonic deities and the heroes and… I don’t know… a Grecian folly in their back garden, and think “ooh boy, I would love to have that set up some day”? Of course I do. But remember that xenia is still xenia if you can’t give much. If we look at the Odyssey (or the bumper handbook of xenia as I like to think of it) it’s tempting to look at the gifts given by Nestor or the time and effort that Nausicaa spends on her guests and think “this is what I need to aim for”, but remember Eumaeus the swineherd? The guy who lives in a hut with four dogs and spends his days looking after pigs on the hills of Ithaca? He can only give his guest a seat by the fire and a simple meal, no fancy cups or offers of baths, but he’s still one of the most virtuous and generally good characters in the whole damn epic.

Be like Eumaeus. Do what you can. Don’t fret about what you can’t. 

anonymous asked:

I'm recently getting back into doing research on my path and different deities. I seem to be constantly drawn to the Egyptian or Celtic (Irish) pantheons. However, when I look at transitioning those into practice, I only find things on reconstructionism. Would it be "wrong" to worship one of these pantheons without going for the full cultural reconstruction? Thank you in advance!

Not necessarily, no.  The most important thing is always going to be respect for the original culture and the gods themselves, which doesn’t require hard reconstructionism so much as just educating yourself to make informed decisions.

I can only speak as an Irish polytheist and recon, not Kemetic, but as long as you move ahead respectfully and with educated understanding (Lugh is not a sun god and Brighid is not a Maiden/Mother/Crone archetype), you don’t need to have a degree in Irish studies.  Once you build a rapport with a deity/deities, your relationship may develop a different understanding anyway.  Irish deities are not as straightforward as other pantheons: they are much more human-like and do not have domains in the way other gods, like the Greek, do.

Echtrai is a Gaelic recon and made a list of other Celtic polytheists.  These Celtic recon/Celtic reconstructionism tags are full of awesomeness, but beware of Romantic sources like Yeats and Lady Gregory, both of whom have their own value but also changed older source material for their own purposes.

(On a side note, remember that while Irish polytheism is an open practice, much of the mythology and folklore we have today was saved from extinction in the early 20th century in an attempt to rebuild an Irish identity after centuries of oppression.  There’s an added dimension here of cultural preservation for a still-living people and, on a practical level, should be treated as such.)

Does anyone else know the Kemetic view of things?

- Mountain Hound