A while ago, I had an idea for a few blogs. I thought at the time that ideas for the blogs sprang from my own ideas and desires, and while that may be the case, I’ve since come to believe that the impetus for writing at least one of the blogs was divinely inspired. I’ve also thought that whether it was a matter of the Holy Powers jumping on the bandwagon of my thoughts and molding my inclinations and desires to meet their needs, or whether the whole thing was instigated by divine prodding, that my Holy Powers — and specifically one of my Gods in particular — had a lot to do with it. No One specifically said in as many words that I should write these blogs that I’m aware of, but after many signs and synchronicities, I had divination done by a reputable diviner and was told that something specific was required of me. I believe that one of the blogs are either what is required of me, or at least a significant part of it. Since taking action to make the blogs a reality, I’ve received more signs and syncronicities that (in my UPG) seem to confirm that is the case. Over time, the ideas for several blogs were consolidated into two blogs, and this is one of them.
I am not an expert. I strongly feel it’s important to state that clearly and unequivocally before I say anything further. I’m a member of a few religious organizations, but at this point I am mostly a member of a couple of them in order to support Pagan and polytheistic groups — and in one case also to fulfill a vow. AODA currently has the most bearing out of them on my religious practice, though it is a part of the whole, and not my whole religious practice, nor even the majority of it. But that is the entire extent of my current participation in religious orders. I do not hold any ranks or degrees, I am not an organizer, and I am not a religious leader, an Elder, or a Priest. I reiterate, I am not an expert.
But I’ve also been Pagan for a significant portion of my life. At the risk of sounding hubristic (which I really don’t want to be), I think that I have valuable insights to share. I cannot even count the number of times that Pagan and polytheist blogs have helped me, inspired me, encouraged me, or even just made me think in a very beneficial way. I would like to be able to return the favor.
Blogging about the Gods, Paganism, polytheism, and animism also increases visibility and draws more of the attention of the world at large to these religions and to the Gods and Spirits, as well as normalizing these religions. And I think all of that is a good thing. All of this is in addition to what I said in the first paragraph about how I believe that at least one of my Gods, and maybe more, want me to blog, too.
Another reason why I want to blog that’s tied into many of the reasons I mentioned above, is that in the last several years Pagan, and especially polytheist blogs have been disappearing. Some of the bloggers have just not posted anything new in a long time. Others have made announcements that their blogs are retired, changing, or on hiatus, while others have put most of their blog behind a (flexible) paywall. Some have made announcements that they would no longer blog and then deleted their sites or made them private. Others just took down their sites completely without warning, a few switched urls rapidly, and others left their sites public but deleted all of their posts. It’s possible that I missed some announcements of site relocations or shutdowns because I am not always able to read blogs consistently, but there are definitely some that I didn’t miss because some blogs were literally there one day and gone the next, with no mention of ceasing blogging.
I’m sure most and probably all of these bloggers had good reasons for stopping blogging publicly. In fact, those who mentioned why they were stopping had excellent reasons ranging from spending more time focused on other areas (usually with the Gods and Spirits being the stated or implied focus) to cyber bullying. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter, because having good reasons is not a requirement for starting or stopping a blog.
Whether someone puts up or takes down a blog is their right and completely up to them (with some exceptions — orders or requests from Deities or Powers, respect for privacy of family and friends, government intervention, and fear of loss of job, security, or life to name a few). ¶Several years ago I myself had a blog on completely different subjects from what this blog covers that I ultimately abandoned. It wasn’t my intention at the time to stop blogging, but life happened with a vengeance and it’s been sitting dormant for years. I’ve often thought of going back and posting an update because I feel guilty about stopping blogging with no notice or warning (which is not to say that everyone who stops blogging without warning should feel guilty about it — they most definitely shouldn’t — only that in this particular instance, I do) and because even long before all of the Pagan and polytheist blog shutdowns a few bloggers who wrote on some of the other subjects I wrote about on my old blog stopped blogging and I often wondered what happened to them. But I’m not even entirely sure I remember how to long in, or that I would still be able to and I have no idea what I’d say, anyway. It’s been so long and I’ve changed so much that that blog is no longer representative of my life, who I am, or even of my beliefs in a lot of instances. And that could be a reason why some other Pagan and polytheist bloggers have stopped blogging, too.
Regardless of why so many Pagans and polytheists have stopped blogging publicly, there is now a void in the blogosphere and internet in general where a lot of Pagan and polytheist bloggers once were. And because I don’t read most Pagan and polytheist blogs, and because I sometimes forget urls before I put them into my feed reader and can no longer find them again, and just because of the probably high turnover rate in blogging in general, there are probably even more blogs gone than I realize.
I think it’s important for other Pagan and polytheist bloggers to fill that void if they are willing and able. There is a wealth of wisdom, knowledge, experience, and even just a sense of community and sometimes even solidarity that is available because of Pagan and polytheist bloggers and that is now sorely depleted with the removal of those blogs from the internet. I hope to help fill the empty spaces a bit with my blog. Obviously, it won’t replace any of the now defunct blogs, but I hope to share some of my experiences and thoughts and to add to the general amount of Pagans and polytheists and their visibility on the internet.
Also, many (but not all) of the blogs that are left are those that are less moderate on both sides, but especially there seems to be greater representation among conservative (specifically) polytheist bloggers than there is in a general cross-section of the polytheist community. I’m not what most people would consider a moderate. I’m mostly liberal with a few conservative tendancies. But in the extreme polarization of the current politcal situation in the US, it seems a lot of people would consider me a moderate. That said, I’m probably also closer to moderate in my religious beliefs than I am in my general political beliefs — though I still don’t think moderate, per se. Anyway, I think it’s generally bad all around when only the most conservative or only the most liberal voices are heard in any religion. While I don’t think it’s quite as bad when it’s both the most liberal and the most conservative, without anyone closer to the middle, I still don’t think it’s as healthy as a variety of beliefs and opinions. But I also believe that’s pretty much where these religions communities are at now as far as a lot of blog representation goes. If you factor in Pagans who either are not polytheists, or are soft polytheists, I think it swings towards the most liberal having the greatest representation while the most conservative are a small minority. If you only factor in hard polytheists, I believe the opposite is true, but to a more severe extreme — the most conservative voices are represented and the most liberal are a small minority. In both cases, there are almost no moderate voices represented.
I strongly believe no one group, person, or perspective should, or even can, have a monopoly on religious experience. And I also strongly believe that presenting things as if there is only one way of doing things (in this particular case I’m referring specifically to religions) can deter people who would otherwise do good work in their religions and for their Gods and be very happy in them from staying in those religions — or even from becoming a member of those religions in the first place. I believe that people can convince other people there is a monopoly (whether intentionally or accidentally). And I believe that’s wrong. So that is another reason why I’m blogging — to add another voice to the small, but still existent chorus of those who believe there is more than one way to do things — including being a Pagan or polytheist.