“Kalahira, mistress of inscrutable depths, I ask forgiveness.
Kalahira, whose waves wear down stone and sand—
Kalahira, wash the sins from this one and set her [him] on a distant shore of the infinite spirit.
Kalahira, this one’s heart is pure, but beset by wickedness and contention.
Guide this one to where the traveler never tires,
The lover never leaves,
The hungry never starve.
Guide this one, Kalahira, and she [he] will be a companion to you as she [he] was to me.”
-Prayer to the drell deity Kalahira, Mass Effect 3
First of all, if you’ve played through Mass Effect 3, I’m sorry for making you tear up, I had to post this prayer because it is awesome.
Secondly, I find myself absolutely fascinated by all the discussion this debate is generating, and I hope that, even if you disagree with me, that we can still be friends. (Hopefully you are accustomed to my quirks by now.)
So, it suddenly occurred to me, while reading more responses to the pop culture question, that this debate reminded me of something….
….and then it hit me.
This is just like the debate between lore and UPG.
Seriously, think about it, you have recon-leaning folks who (according to the Grumpy Lokean Elder) compare sharing UPG to showing one’s genitals in public, who say things like “We have UPG, we just don’t share it.” On the other side of the equation, you have folks who have a more (or completely) UPG-centric practice, and then you have a very large middle ground of people who lean towards one or the other, or who eschew labels entirely.
Pop culture Paganism, in this sense, is to UPG-leaning folks what UPG is to hardcore recons.
My Lokean friends will recognize that some of the arguments that hardcore recons make against Loki are eerily similar to ones that I’ve been hearing recently. In case you need a refresher:
“Loki doesn’t exist.”
“Loki is a literary concept.”
“Loki was never worshiped by anyone.” “No, folklore doesn’t count.”
“Lokeans are only playing pretend/are depressed emo teens.”
“Sunna and Mani aren’t deities. Sunna is only mentioned in that one charm as a metaphor for healing.”
“Vanatru isn’t a valid path because Simek wrote a paper that proves the Vanir didn’t exist as a separate group.”
Interesting, isn’t it?
But as much as I could go on following that train of thought, I think this debate has taught me something about the nature of UPG, particularly how personal some aspects of a person’s praxis really are. I know people who like sharing UPG, and there often seems to be this tendency to either not label UPG, or to become really offended when someone rejects your UPG as not in line with their experiences.
As with more “conventional” UPG, I can’t expect that everyone will accept that my occasional forays into pop culture Paganism is a valid way to do things in the same way that some people don’t accept that Vanatru is a valid tradition.
Honestly, does the fact that sometimes it seems as if Freyja has more in common with Naamah from Kushiel’s Legacy really have any bearing on anyone but me?
TBH, I don’t think anyone really wants to hear me talk about my thing I have with Elua and the Companions, because it’s personal stuff that really only applies to me.
But if anyone does I can write about it in a future post.
And you know, the solution in both cases is the same.
You can agree to disagree, or you can just flat out ignore those who disagree with you. In this case, agreeing to disagree seems to be working for me.
Basically what this all boils down to is that some things are personal, and some things are especially personal, and TBH, as long as no one interferes with me doing my thing, I’m happy and willing to respect that you do things differently.
Unless you put stupid Viking dudebro memes on tumblr….