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The last few days have been rather busy, and not just in the mundane aspect of my life. I have been meeting with other Pagans in the community, from very unexpected places, and I have been making offers to and dealing with certain spirits very often over the last 3-5 days. Honestly, I wasn’t sure what I should mention, if any of it. I’m still not sure.
There is a part of me that still dwells in the old practice of, “To know, to do, to keep silent.” It’s a common practice in Ceremonial Magic and certain aspects of Wicca, and it’s how I was trained; it is something I fight against every time I post something on this journal. Do I know what to speak of, and what to remain silent on? Why should I not speak upon it? To those who work Ceremonial Magic, yes, I know the answer to that last question, but I work much more from the religious end than the magical end of things. More importantly, the less people speak of these things, the less those who might otherwise be called to such work will even know of its existence; in many ways, this leads directly to the cultural appropriation of whatever is available and cobbling it together from mush, which does not often go well, in my experience. If it’s all you’ve got, though, it’s what you do, if you’re being true to the call.
It’s been on my mind a lot lately because it’s been the primary topic of conversation: “doing your own thing,” and finding out there’s a Pagan culture that either does it similarly or does it better. One example has been the practices in Asatru and Germanic reconstructions, where the older ways are tried and end up showing themselves more powerful ritually and religiously than the modern ways of doing the same thing. Another example is the experience of animism, and learning of cultures that once practiced that animism in a similar vein that one has experienced in personal gnosis. Peer-corroborated gnosis has also been a major aspect of these discussions, and where lore and peer-corroborated gnosis have coincided, and where they’ve clashed.
Mostly writing all this down because the topics are great for future posts, though I would like to check with the other participants of these discussions before I go full-bore into them.
Tonight, however, I performed my third offering ritual to the Deiwos. I went with one change at a time: this change was calling Dyeus Pter before the libations offering. The change seemed satisfactory, and so I shall keep it. Good to know.
I usually do a rite once a month on or around the Full Moon. Since Wednesday I had a meeting, and Thursday was Thanksgiving, I chose to do the ritual tonight. This post is concerning the practice and the thoughts I have of it after.
I’m just going to jump right in. This particular post is both a reminder to me of making sure I understand these concepts before continuing, and an explanation for anyone who is reading the blog.
I’ve been working on the IRS’s 1023 form, lately. It’s a right monster, to be sure. Bloody thing has me up all night some nights. You would think a government form would just be a long form of “yes/no” and short sentence questions. Well, I can tell you that’s a load of… well, nothing that can be said in polite company.
If you’ve been to university, you may remember the nasty tests that you took in some of the liberal arts classes. Some questions were multiple choice, some true/false, and some were short or long essay questions. This is what the IRS 1023 form is: a several-pages-long test where if you don’t input the answers they’re looking for, you fail (and lose your $400 filing fee). They’re not just looking at if you say you’re a church, they wish to know what your beliefs are and how you ordained your ministers. This is more than a little odd for an organization designed to collect taxes.
It isn’t a problem that they ask if we have ordained ministers or a prescribed liturgy. Granted, they do have the job of determining that a church is legitimate. However, asking WHAT those processes are can open up a church to what Kemetic Orthodoxy encountered a couple of years ago. An Illinois revenue agent came to them about taxes, and remarked, to their face (and their lawyer) that KO wasn’t “really a religion”. They then had to gather a number of testimonials and such together to prove they had an impact in people’s lives. This is AFTER they already had a 501(c)(3)!
Am I worried? A little. We’ve only 4 regular members, and a small collection of people who come to rites. It’s not even a congregation of 20. So yeah, I’m concerned. We’ll get through it, we always do; the hurdles to jump are just a little high.
Alright, the full moon is actually tomorrow. No big deal.
I usually mark what I’m doing for the full moon, just to mark progress and work on things. Since the last full moon, I have finished some ordeal work, started on draft two of my book, read a few pages in Raven Kaldera’s The Northern Shamanic Herbal, and finally got back to D&D. Not a bad list.
For the next full moon, I need to continue writing, read more, and do a couple of journeys and get some information.