collowrath: (Default)
Yes. Yes it is.

The week of quiet worship and celebration went off very well. I think my ancestors were very pleased, and I'm very happy for that.

Everything at school is going well. Got an email about having a dismal GPA - my advisor forgot that there are only two grades on there and that it will be dismal by default until the end of the semester. Acing both my theology and philosophy courses.

The theology is especially nice. Giving a thorough reading through the Pentateuch through Catholic and historical Jewish eyes has lent a level of clarity on Christian doctrine that I hadn't necessarily had before. My varied attempts at reconciliation with Christianity are being settled in a more organized fashion than they were before, and that makes me very happy. I'm still not in line with the Church, but I wasn't necessarily trying to be, either. The greater goal of reconciliation is understand a) how Dveviere is conceived as a system, and b) how they fit together without exploding the brain.

Historically speaking, the converted Slavs didn't think twice about such an issue. They already had their world view well established when the Christians came and regardless of what the Priest was saying, their God was just one of many. 1,200 years later, and not a whole helluva lot of that pre-Christian religion exists, as a result of that world-view. Dozens of pagan Gods and traditions were absorbed into Christian figures as a function of blending two systems. There's nothing wrong with that. However, my own practice is rooted on the pagan side of the fence. This puts a fundamental divide between me and Slavic Christians of any flavour, and Slavic Heathens/Rodovers.

The divide with the Heathens is a pretty big one, I think. Many of these groups are filled with insipid racism and nationalism bordering on fascism. While I am a Pan-Slavic nationalist, active and opinionated in Slavic issues (especially in Kosovo i Metohija), I'm not at all of the opinion that my politics and my religion need be bedfellows. I see quite often Rodnover groups practicing the Native Faith only in order to widen the divide between the superior Slav and the inferior other; this faith is billed as a revival, but really, it tends to amount to nothing more than Christianity with an overlay of Heathen names (Triglav standing in for the trinity, as opposed to the actual historical God) and lots of posturing about being a superior Aryan race.

Even all that aside, and I still don't see the worth in tossing out 1,200 years plus of organic innovation within the culture.

The divide between me and Christians is theologically greater, but perhaps more subtle in practice. I am not a Christian. I fundamentally disagree with major elements of Christian doctrine. In practice though, I'm not all that different from any other Slovak who is observant of cultural traditions. My biggest practical divide is where I place my focus - my attempt to remove the Christian veneer from my practice to get at the underlying meaning of it. Where the Christian practice is the primary, I don't attempt to remove it from my life; my cultural traditions are just as important to maintain as the integrity of my religious beliefs.

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Tomorrow, I'm making a good dinner and keeping an extra portion for my ancestors. We're going to take it outside and burn it and offer our prayers for them.

Wednesday is the start of the Feast of Svt. Paraskeva, Healer of the Blind. For those of us with a Dual Faith, she is also associated with the Goddess Mokosh, the weaver sometimes associated with Moist Mother Earth. We're going to make a pretty wreath and hang it by the ancestor space, and on All Soul's Day hopefully we'll be able to take a trip to where my grandparent's are buried (I live pretty far from it), and set it there. I miss them so much. :( After we make the wreath, I'm going to set up a space somewhere for Svt. Paraskeva.

Friday is when we'll have a dinner for her, light her candles. I'll give prayers and offerings to Mokosh then as well, saying a final good-bye to the fertile Earth and getting ready to say goodbye to my ancestors for another year. That isn't necessarily to say that they are going to make a complete exit, but after Monday, there won't be any more feasts for them, and after All Souls' Day, the world is walked by negative, impure, spirits, and thus is somewhat "spiritually dangerous." Nov. 3rd, after ASD, my ancestor space and Svt Paraskeva's space will be taken down.

The next week is going to be incredibly sad, incredibly happy, very meditative, and very busy for me. I'm so glad it's here.
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There's been so much going on since I last posted. School starting has really given me a regular routine - on one hand, this helps me stay focused and on task, on the other, it's completely suffocating. Fortunately, being sensitive of a schedule allows me to look forward to all the breaks I get; I can contain my stress into a nice little boxes and look forward to the next de-stress period.

There was some drama with my job from last year. I won't go into detail about it, but they acted in a very unprofessional manner and refuse to fess up to it. Needless to say, I don't have any intention to work or volunteer for them again.

It's finally September, and the weather is getting cooler, the days shorter, and the leaves are just barely showing some yellow. There are some cultural traditions in the Fall surrounding my ancestors. My family only partially observed them before, but this year I'm doing much more.

I dug out a bunch of old photos of family who have passed on. They are currently set on my mantle, on a nice cloth. With them is a glass of water, which I refill daily; this act of daily remembrance really grounds me, every day I can remember the love that binds us as family. There is also a votive candle with them, and a small plate. At the end of October, there are a number of ancestor feasts - the meal we eat is shared with them. At the end of the meal, this plate is taken out and the food is burned as a sacrifice.

For All Saints Day, there will be a wreath made. It's going to be taken to my grandparents' grave, where it will be left as a decoration.

This season should be a very grounding, spiritual one for me - I love it.


Aug. 20th, 2009 03:05 pm
collowrath: (Default)
So, my situation with my university continues. Classes start monday, and they won't let me register until I pay off next semester entirely (wtf is that? I've never heard of such a thing before). So it looks like I'm going to have another wasted semester from their bull. As soon as I can get transferred, I'm going.

Wrote up a huge explanation of Slavic paganism, Dveviere, and Hellenic Polytheism as it pertains to me. I might be of a mind to post some of it here for safekeeping and so I can continue to work through the ideas myself. There's a number of wrenches that the system itself throws in - like a car with a bad timing belt. I really just need to stop getting stressed out over everything else (not that the universe is really helping atm!) so I can have some time to just think.

The bad dreams continue, but the countermeasures I was advised to take are helping stem the flow. The dreams aren't overtly bad any more, but they retain that vivid, disturbing character. Every time I go to order the pisanky/kraslice supplies (here is a link to them - they seem to have everything I could need!, I find that another money issue steps in to prevent credit-card usage. Fortunately, I've drawn out the designs already and hung them as I was advised. I'm glad I've gotten to know some really good people over the last six months or so. They might not be fully aware, but I have enormous respect for them and I'm glad they've given me the help they have.

I'm going to clear my floor soon and do some yoga, before the stress gets any deeper than it is.


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