"Live your questions now, and perhaps even without knowing it, you will live along some distant day into your answers. "
-Rainer Maria Rilke

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Virtuous Poverty

by Fire Tashlin

We all have our job. The gods hand them out to us like the worlds biggest and oldest New Deal program. We get on-the-job training, often from the bosses themselves, tough they rarely provide retirement benefits.

Well I shouldn't say that, they often provide for us in one way or another, just not usually in a manner or to a degree that we would choose. I often wonder if perhaps poverty as a virtue is touted by so many religions world wide, not because it teaches us something really valuable, but because arranging for us to become wealthy takes time and energy that the gods that we work for would rather not spend.

Now, the details of my job and the identity of my Lady are inextricably intertwined. This is largely because she has, as of yet, declined to identify herself. I and my fellow clan mates each have our jobs that she has given us. Not the Clan, you know the white pointy hat dudes, lots of yelling and fire. Generally that clan won't take ex-jewish, polyamorous, pagan, pierced gay people, that's not really their target demographic. Our clan has all you need to fill out the ranks of a spooky organization, but always with a twist, maybe of lime, lemon always make it taste to much like desert.

I am, among other things, a priestess and while some of you may be saying “but who's priestess?” I would then answer, wouldn't I like to know. You see, in not knowing who our Lady is, I and my fellow clansmen/women/whateveryouare's, are without a pantheon or religious structure beyond doing what what our Lady tells us to. While that may seem simple, just do what you are told, it can be very difficult when operating in the greater community. Why, for instance, doesn't our clan shaman and diviner tend to use the more conventional Norse runes or tarot cards? Because she said he couldn't anymore, and then told us to use a system completely different, and somewhat more complex. Don't get me wrong, I love our system, I think that it garners a much greater level of detail than other divination systems that I have used in the past. But when a client asks for a reading, and you whip this thing out, you do tend to get some really odd looks.

Not having a pantheon as a priestess, as someone whose job is to be a speaker and representative of the gods, now that's where things get a little hairy. You see, I don't speak for my Lady alone. Instead, I speak for whomever has no one to speak for them at the time. I have done work for Artemis, when her servant needed to speak to another Artemis person, but there was no one else in her area who could do that. I have done ritual for Kali Ma, because she outlined it for me, and who else was going to do it? I have spoken for Ereshkigal, Atropos, Odin (the young one, the one that no one in the Asatru like to talk about, because it was when he was still tight with Loki, very tight...) Not having the affiliations that come with a pantheon frees me to work with Whomever I need to, without having to worry about whether or not my patron has bad blood between them in the lore.

Of course it would be nice to have some lore, any lore, something. Otherwise, what will I write my book about that will sell millions of copies and provide the cushy retirement that I have yet to figure out how to provide for myself. Lacking that, poverty may well prove to be a virtue.

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