Monthly Archives: August 2014

Thoughts On Faith Building: Pillars Of The Revival Faith

In continuing my thoughts on building communities I want to next address the idea of having a set of held beliefs within a faith that solidifies the sense of belonging. For this, I have looked to Islam’s Five Pillars for inspiration:

The ‘Five Pillars’ of Islam are the foundation of Muslim life:

  • Faith or belief in the Oneness of God and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammad;
  • Establishment of the daily prayers;
  • Concern for and almsgiving to the needy;
  • Self-purification through fasting; and
  • The pilgrimage to Makkah for those who are able.

Islam 101

Before I go further, I am very aware that although all Muslims believe in the Five Pillars it has not stopped the bloodshed of Muslim on Muslim violence and that it has not been successful in creating an Utopian religious community. However, as I have witnessed, reverts to the faith are reminded that no matter how much they are policed by their zealots if they believe in the Five Pillars then they are Muslim. They are Muslim Enough.

This is what I would like to establish: that no matter how we see fit to carrying out our faith, if we agree on our Five Pillars then we are Revival Enough.

While making this list I tried to keep it as broad themed as possible so that each Revival culture and individuals within each sect may adapt it to fit their needs.

The Five Pillars of the Revival Faith:

  • Faith or belief in the pantheon of Gods as separate individuals and acceptance of Their influence in our lives.
  • Establishment of daily prayers.
  • Concern and involvement in community service and social justice.
  • Building a strong Hearth and Home.
  • Pilgrimage to holy sites.

Let’s break each one down:

  • Faith or belief in the pantheon of Gods and acceptance of Their influence in our lives:

Personally, I think this would be an acceptable Decree of Faith (Revival version of Shahada) as this is the at the very heart of what makes a Polytheist a Polytheist. We hold the belief in multiple Gods and that each One is a separate individual. We also have accepted that these Gods do, in fact, influence our lives.

What is important to establish is that this belief does not negate syncretism or that The Gods could be part of a Greater Whole. It is, however, establishing the belief that each God is a whole entity unto Themselves and not archetypes.

  • Establishment of daily prayers.

Communication with the Gods is key in any faith. There is no wrong or right way to preform daily prayers, what is important is that it is done.

  • Concern and involvement in community service and social justice. 

Giving back to our communities and being involved in creating a more just world is how we better serve the Gods.

  • Building a strong Hearth and Home.

Regardless of how Family looks (mother, father, children ;  single parent with children ; same sex parents with children ; childless couples, ect) the keystone to our faith is the Hearth and Home. By establishing a strong faith that involves the care of each family member’s relationship with the Gods, we create the keystone to stronger communities.

  • Pilgrimage to holy sites.

Not everyone will be able to make a pilgrimage to holy sites, I know this. However, I think it is important to have that one will attempt to do so at least once in their lives. There is no “official” list of holy sites as that is an individual assessment.

Please note that this is a general outline explaining each point. I left each topic as broad stroked as I can in order for people to inject their own thoughts and experiences. It’s not perfect but it’s a good start.

Advertisements

Thoughts On Faith Building: Joy and Declarations

A while back I watched on Facebook as another faith’s community came to life as they welcomed a new convert. The outpouring of congratulations, blessings, and cheers from that group cast a sharp contrast in my mind to how we approach people new to our faith: mostly they are ignored, but in the slight chance they are acknowledged, it is with a mixture of annoyance (another newbie, ugh) to down right hostility because they are seen as a threat.

Ya’ll, this shit has got to stop.

What if, when a person says they are new to the Gods, they are welcomed into our faith with sincerity and joy?

You know, joy?

A feeling of great pleasure and happiness.

Why is this lacking so hard in our community, in our faith, in our daily interactions with one another?

Another thing I’ve been thinking about is the whole business of how one “converts”. I’m not a big fan of the word because it means to me that a person had to be convinced that a new religion is the “right” one, but sometimes language is limited and we have to use what we’ve got.

I know in the mystery cults they have forms of initiation for the new converts, but what about the rest of us? There’s private dedication rituals, but what if there was a way to have a public declaration of one’s desire to be with the Gods?

When Muslims revert, they publicly recite the Shahada:

The Shahada (Arabic: الشهادةaš-šahādah)  “the testimony” is an Islamic creed declaring belief in the oneness of God and the acceptance of Muhammad as God’s prophet. The declaration, in its shortest form, reads:

لَا إِلٰهَ إِلَّا الله مُحَمَّدٌ رَسُولُ الله

lā ʾilāha ʾillā-llāh, Muhammadun rasūlu-llāh

There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is His messenger.

from wikipedia
What if we had something like that? What if we publicly bore our testimony of the Gods and our intention of living our lives alongside Them? What would it say? What would it be called?
I looked in my handy-dandy big book of Whelock for words in Latin. I found:
* decerno  = decide, settle, decree
* fas est = it is right, fitting, lawful
* fides = faith, trust, promise
I have no idea what the actually creed/testimony would say, but I will freely admit that I’m really liking the idea of a unified public decree. 
Thoughts?

Call For Submissions for a Beloved Dead Devotional

Foxglove & Firmitas

I said I wasn’t going to start this, and yet here I am anyway…  Doing the Work.

Crossing the River: A Devotional to Our Beloved Dead

Calling for submissions for Crossing the River: A Devotional to Our Beloved Dead, edited by Camilla Laurentine (and possibly others to sign on at a later date). Submissions open August 7th, 2014 and close February 28th, 2015.

The intention of this devotional is to build a source book of modern meditations, hymns, prayers, and other resources for death workers working in our greater community. All Pagan and Polytheist traditions are welcome and encouraged to submit to this project.

Submissions should fall into one of three categories: Vigil of the Dying, For the Recently Deceased, and Funerary Tools. They may include, but are not limited to meditations, poems, hymns, prayers, original retellings of myths, rituals, and scholarly articles with a…

View original post 216 more words