There’s a part of thi blog dedicated to Fire and I found it stirring and powerful.
The Serenth moves into some other powerful perspectives.
If you don’t follow him already, I would recommend it.
“The ethics of animism of and in polytheism ask us not only to consider those Beings we worship, venerate, and interact with. We must do well by Them. To do honor to Them is to do our best to understand Them on Their terms and act accordingly.
Animism in polytheism requires that each Being be treated with respect, in respect to Its Nature, Its Self. I would no more offer a white tail deer spirit a slab of venison than a leaf of grass to the landvaettir. Yet, to certain Ginnreginn, these would be quite acceptable offerings. The acceptability of these offerings, the honoring of giving them, and the good relationship gained in furthering connection through them, depends on the given Being at hand.
Polytheism must be lived; one cannot embrace ethics nor religion solely in the head. To be ethics rather than rules alone they must be lived. To be religion rather than reenactment or mental exercise, the polytheist must acknowledge the Gods as real, and worship Them. To acknowledge the Ancestors, and the spirits is to not only believe They are real, but to act on those beliefs and to hold Them in honor, and venerate, to worship Them.
Polytheism is a lived theology. It is a theology in which mere recognition that there are many Gods renders the person holding the position inhospitable as a polytheist. Hospitality is arguably the foremost of ethical considerations for polytheists. This hospitality exists in lived understanding, both in terms of the personal connections one has and the wider communities one exists in. This hospitality exists in relationship with the Ginnreginn through negotiated relationships, contracts, oaths, and other ties of relationship, such as as in ancestry, through blood relations, adoption, marriage, initiation, and a variety of possible spiritual bonds.
These considerations of hospitality extend not only to the Ginnreginn who we worship, it also extends to the community ties we may make, what things we may or may not accept in our lives, and even on to dietary choices. If a given God who one desires to worship requires adherance to a vegeterian diet, then to accept and follow that, to honor that requirement, is a form of hospitality that invites that God into one’s life through that choice. If a God one worships has been explicitly forbidden from worship in a given venue then, in order to be hospitable one must avoid that venue. This hospitality extends to the God, in that one would not honor one’s Gods by choosing to go to such a space which is actively hostile to Them, and to the community, by not bringing one’s relationship into a space where it is not desired. If such a choice is made with the Ginnreginn in mind/under the Ginnreginn’s guidance, then the community has extended hospitality to their own Ginnreginn and members through this exclusion. Through informing potential guests of venue rules, taboos, and the like, that community also extends hospitality to any visitors who may come into their space by allowing them to self-select whether they can or wish to be involved in that venue.
For good relationships with the Ginnreginn and one another to flourish requires hospitality. That hospitality, then, entails respect. That respect is grounded in ongoing acknowledgment of the personhood, agencies, needs, and desires of the parties in that relationship. That hospitality, then, entails reciprocity between those involved in the relationship. Whether the Being at hand is a blade of grass or a God, a Sacred Fire or a friend, while these ethics may apply in different ways and in different levels of coniderations like ritual protocol, many of these follow similar lines of thought.
Is this choice a hospitable one? Is it one that respects the Being before me? Is this choice one that honors the reciprocity between us? Does this action further good relations between us? Am I being a good guest/host? Am making amends when I fall short of that in a way that is done in respect and restores honor? Am I engaging in good reciprocity?
In my view polytheism, and the animism found within it, is lived based on the answers we receive from the Ginnreginn, and how we answer these kinds of questions.””
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