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Occasionally I wandered in where I was not wanted and gave truthful answers.
Sometimes I even did it deliberately. A little disruption now can prevent disaster later.

Taproot: Family, Guests, Ancestors, and Gods

Original version posted November 18, 2008 at 06:13:55. Minor rewrite, style experiments and links added November 18 at 15:22:53. More links added November 18 at 15:41:16. Last revision - Minor formatting, added Taproot to title and experimenting with category graphic.

This is a page from the third version of Technopagan Yearnings. There are some formatting differences. Originally published at www.neowayland.com/C407808485/E20081118071355

“”Taproots”

How my family influenced the relationship I have with the Divine

This is my first Taproots entry. Unlike my other blog entries, Taproots entires will be rewritten and updated as time goes on. The posting date will always be the most recent version.

I'm going to ramble because I am not really sure how to make my points on this topic.

I've two older cousins, two and three years older than I. When we were younger, we were raised almost as brothers.

To understand, you have to understand how I was raised to think of family. Family gatherings helped shape who I am, there were always uncles and aunts and cousins and grandparents in addition to Mom and Dad and the stepsibs. Even before Dad and the stepsibs in fact.

That's where the Celtic part of the heritage comes out. It's almost identical to the Scottish clan structure.

You have the Chief of the Family. You have the Host. You have the Elders. You have the Honored Guests. And you have the children. It's a pretty clear pecking order and it was firmly in place for almost every Christmas, every Thanksgiving, every Easter and almost every Mother's Day I can remember as a kid.

Here's one for you. The family always said that Christmas was Granpa's holiday.

Even when I was a kid and nominally Christian, I never bought the whole solitary bearded guy on a throne thing. It was obvious to me that if there was a god, he had to be married. Who better than Mother Nature for him to be married to?

And it was also obvious that that particular god was a part time farmer who would much rather be off hunting and tramping in the world. The kind of guy who would be tinkering with the pickup under the shade tree. The kind of guy who would have more fun tracking the deer than shooting it. The kind of guy who'd use fishing mainly as an excuse to get out of chores.

And that Jesus guy? Well, he was a carpenter, so obviously he had solid clothes, probably overalls. Worn hands and arms strong enough to rip the siding off a wall without straining. He could use tools, but he'd prefer his hands. Let's not forget the hip flask that he passed around with his friends. He'd watch out for the kids in the workshop, but he'd usually kick them out and let them run around the neighborhood.

My gods were always earthy types who would invite you for a meal at the drop of a hat. They'd cuss and swear and tell dirty limericks and would fight for fun.

Yep, I was doomed to be Pagan.

It was only later when I tried to match the Bible and the church with my expectation of the Divine that I ran into trouble. I couldn't accept the Divine Perfection thing because it didn't match my experience of the world. I didn't like the Halls of Glory thing. Most importantly, I didn't like the idea of a Divine separated from Creation. Some of my relatives had strange ideas about Christianity, ideas that made this world a Hell to be endured. But I knew that we could fix things here and make it a better world now without waiting on some vague Heavenly reward.

Absolutely doomed.

When I started studying in earnest (Frank wasn't available), the Mighty Dead struck me as absolutely RIGHT. It fit in with my clannish nature.

My own path stresses the Ancestors. In each of the last few years I selected five who have inspired me before they passed.

“Bone, Heart, Thought, Deed, and Spirit,
I choose to honor these Befores this season.”

The choice is a bigger part than the actual rituals.

There's a saying that we create god in our own image. It's partially true. We create the godmask, but not what is hidden beyond.

The first time I heard a Divine voice, it was Female. And She was peeved that it took so long to get my attention. Her consort, well, I heard from Him later.

Since I was using chaos magick at the time, I told Her to prove that She was something more than a product of my imagination.

She told me to ask nicely. I refused.

She showed me anyway.

That's why I treat my Gods as Respected Elder Relatives, and my personal hierarchy puts them somewhere over the Chief of the Family. They may not choose to exercise the authority, but they have it anyway.

I still argue with Them. I usually end up losing the arguments, but that is who I am. Stubborn and contrary to the very last.

Funny, my godmasks haven't really changed much since my childhood. That's one of the reasons I think I chose to serve before I was born.

Although I always picture Them with a Place, it's never a house. She may have a kitchen, but it's like it was formed from the landscape itself as She needed it. It reminds me of a cross between a potting shed and a worktable and an outdoor barbecue. In the old Southern tradition.

They came to me in a form that I could accept, but the REALITY beyond that form I can barely comprehend. I've never been one to submit to authority without question, and I've never been one to blend in.

That's me, the clannish hermit, perpetually on the borders.

Posted: Wed - November 19, 2008 at 04:37 PM

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