Okay so,

Feb. 4th, 2010 12:12 am
collowrath: (Default)
So, we're coming up on the "start" of my religious calendar, as it is now.  It's no secret to my friends and family that I'm a huge fan of taking some time each year to fast and reflect.  My ethnic tradition, a Dual Faith, provides an outlet for that.  Coming in a little less than two weeks is fašiangy, or Fat Tuesday, starting Lent.  Unlike a lot of contemporary Catholics, I fast as completely as possible - more akin to Orthodox traditions with a hint of Islam that I picked up in high school.

Coming up at the start of March, part way through the fast, I'm assembling the bits and pieces that I need to assemble kraslice and Morena.  Then come March 20th, we will built a modest feast and sacrifice some of it to our ancestors as they return to the world.  When we sacrifice the food we also burn Morena; sacrificing the winter so that Jarilo and the spring and the warmth can return to us as well.

I'm definitely going to return to these topics over the next month and a half.  There's some very interesting things here and definitely some things that I would like to think about and flesh out about my own practice as well.

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.

THERE BE NO CONCLUSION HERE.
collowrath: (Default)
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.

Sick.

Oct. 20th, 2009 10:41 am
collowrath: (Default)
So my partner comes home with a cold. That's fine - I make sure he drinks orange juice and eats some fruit. Of course then, taking  care of him, it passes to me. Just in time for my last day of mid-term break, going back to school bright and early tomorrow morning. I'm going to enjoy today, laying on the couch, relaxing and drinking orange juice and water. Making some Indian food tonight (sweat it out, baby!). My kitten is enjoying the day sitting on my lap, incessantly giving me little kitty kisses. <3!

It sucks though as well, that I'm sick just in time for Noumenia. I'm usually pretty dedicated to regular practice and worship; it's grounding for me, and maintaining that sort of regular, close relationship is fulfilling in a very amazing way. Lately though, I've been allowing the stress of my life to make me forgetful and lazy, and I am definitely suffering for it. This is something that I'm going to have to work on this month, learning to deal with the stress of life's obligations without losing the things that are important to me. Maintaining myself under stress has always been a problem.

Fortunately, my Slavic practice has been pretty well maintained - though I need to clean off the altar space with my photos, offering plate, etc. I'm glad I've been regular with it - I just hope that I get better before the very end of this month, because there is a lot to be done! I'm reminded that I need to acquire some pretty things to make a wreath from; I also need to acquire some dyes and kisky to make kraslice (pisanky). I know not much money will come my way this month, but the credit card is paid up, so getting ahold of the supplies should not be difficult. I shall, for sure, post pictures!

collowrath: (Default)
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.
collowrath: (Default)
This week has been a little crazy. A lazy week, but crazy nonetheless. Really haven't gotten much done. I found out early this week that my school lost my registration fee for next year and put a hold on my account. This sucks because I can't register for classes in order to retake classes from last year whose grades I weren't happy with. I may end up screwed for next semester. In which case, that will be my last straw with that excuse-for-a-university and I'll just turn in a withdrawal form.

One really good thing is that lately on forums and in my private life, the subject of Slavic paganism keeps coming up. I'm no expert and I'm a bit of a fence sitter on the subject (which I'm sure I'll go more in depth about at a later date), but I can't help but feel as though something is tapping me on the shoulder. The problem is, I don't know what it's trying to say. I'm going to delve into some more research and take some notes to help wrap my head around some things (it's really hard to translate Russian sources into a Slovak context - it's not as similar as one might think, but not as different sometimes either).

Also, I'm enjoying the bounty of fresh vegetation available in Ohio at the moment. Fresh veggies are just one of those things that brighten my day in numerous ways. Oh yes.
collowrath: (Default)
My name is David, and I'm a younger guy living in Ohio. I go to school at a local university for Political Science, but I have no intention of using it for pre-law. I'm looking to transfer away from the school and into a better one soon, where I can start a minor in Serbian language.

Since my mother left and my parents divorced, I've been the primary homemaker while living with my dad. I'm pretty happy doing the cooking and cleaning for the most part, I love to cook. I especially love to cook for other people, in a fabulously clean and comfortable house.

I have been a practicing Hellenic Polytheist for two or three years now. Athena tapped me on the shoulder and said "We want you." Since then though, Athena has moved away from my life and Hermes has become a constant force. I also have a number of family traditions with roots in Slovak culture and in ancient Slovak religion. Many of these traditions are melded with Catholic festivals. Needless to say, I have a "full calendar" spiritually, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

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