Back in another life, I studied technical communication; I’ve never actually worked in the field (due to a combination of factors including settling down so very far away from anywhere it’s a viable career :)) but I’ve used what I learned quite a lot over the decades. And one thing that has stuck with me in that time is the idea that it is good to make things easier for others. To take specialized information and present it in a way that is clear and understandable.
Because everyone can’t do everything. Everyone can’t know everything. They can’t, and they shouldn’t have to.
You’ve probably heard the phrase “it’s the religion with homework.” That’s not inherently a bad thing–I am certainly a fan of research and study and learning about the things that are important to you–but it is a thing that can keep people from approaching the gods.
Not everyone has the time or the resources or the wherewithal to engage in intense study. And they shouldn’t have to, to honor the gods.
Not everyone has the ability to devote huge chunks of their lives to their religion. And they shouldn’t have to, to honor the gods.
I used to see on various forums, when a new someone would come in and ask a question, many people reply abruptly with “Read the Eddas/Iliad/Mabinogion/etc.!” And while that’s in a way understandable (“I did the work, you can too.” “If you really want it, you’ll go the extra mile.”) it is, to me, unwelcoming.
The polytheistic faiths are not evangelistic paths, we are not (generally) active seekers of new adherents, but I don’t think it’s useful or necessary to make it more difficult than it already is for the new person. Why set up obstacles? No, we don’t owe it to anyone to spoon-feed or hand-hold, but to offer a little help isn’t that.
So, you know what? I love research and reading. I enjoy it. It’s fun. Not everyone is me. (One is enough. :)) I like comparing sources and pulling them together. And I like to write. So, this blog, where I try to take what I’ve learned and make it more accessible.
I also write prayers, which comes from a different bit of background and a less clear-cut mental place, but even there I am doing it as a maker of useful things, a provider of practical and usable information.
It’s also, for me, something I do to honor the gods. Making it easier for others to approach them, learn about them, worship them, that’s a part of what I feel called on to do as a part of my own path. Taking information that may be difficult to access and making it available, to me that feels important.
Because you shouldn’t have to be a scholar to worship the gods. You shouldn’t have to be a student or a mystic or a poet or a priest. You should be able to be just an average person with a busy life who wants to connect with the deities in whatever way they are able, and you shouldn’t be made to feel bad about it because you lack the time or the resources or the wherewithal.