Multi-faithful

When I say I am multi-faith, I know it’s a mouthful, and I know it’s maybe sort of vague, but I haven’t yet found a better word for it and it’s become pretty central to my religious identity over the years.

One thing it means is that my religious identity includes more than one pagan/polytheistic religious practice. To describe this simply I might say “I am a Hellenic polytheist and I am also a heathen, and have been both for over fifteen years.” If I feel a bit more chatty about it I might add that I personally don’t combine the two because it’s simpler for me that way, but if you do, more power to you and I’d love to hear how you do it.

Practically speaking it isn’t as complicated as it could be; my Hellenic practice is all me, and while my heathen practice is group-oriented (and thus more ritual-oriented), my group is super-chill and supportive. In my own home and for all the gods I deal with, I pray, and talk to the gods, and pour out offerings in an informal manner, and do the things it seems like a good idea for me to do.

Another thing it means is that I am, I hope, open to meeting new people and making new friends. That wasn’t always the case; it was complicated enough dealing with two (and sometimes more) groups of gods–and potentially even more complicated dealing with two (and sometimes more) religious communities.

I’m not a woo person, whatever that means (as someone who is quite near-sighted I tend to think of it as knowing there is probably something across the street but at the same time having no real idea what it might be because it’s all just the same blur when I look at it). My godphone generally has no bars. Sometimes I get a part of a bar and that is an exciting day, I will tell you!

But you can’t base an entire spirituality on the occasional very sharp image within a generally-perceived blur.

But I digress, just a bit.

It’s all right to honor more than one pantheon of gods, either separately or not (although I myself think separately is easier, it’s a personal preference). There are a surprising number of polytheists who disagree, so I want to put it out there that not everyone thinks it is a Thing One Must Never Do.

It doesn’t have to be “separate but equal,” either. Maybe your main practice is with one pantheon but you have some contact with another pantheon or pantheons. Maybe you identify primarily as one sort of polytheist or pagan but occasionally go off script a bit. Maybe you just have a different sort of relationship with one group of gods than with the other(s). You don’t have to do the same things for or with one god (or group of gods) as you do with the other(s). You don’t have to be equally close with each entity with whom you interact.

And once you’ve established a relationship or a practice, that doesn’t mean it can’t or won’t change over time. Change is one of the few constants in life, and that’s true of spiritual life as well.

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