Devotional Polytheism and Alone Time with the Kindreds
There have been many articles written about devotional practices among polytheists. Folks who have listened to my music already know I am most definitely counted among those with devotional-type practices.
Before I left Christianity, I was a musician in that realm, too. I played and sang with the worship bands in several churches, and I even led some of the worship music in the college Christian Fellowship group I was in. It was actually the music that kept me from leaving the church, even when I knew it wasn’t the right path for me. I knew I was a polytheist long before I knew anything about Wicca or Druidry or even neopaganism. I didn’t have names for these things. All I knew was singing brought me to a place where I communed with several different beings with distinct energy patterns (I am energy sensitive. Not all people are).
My Wiccan years weren’t full of much music. All the music I produced then was fairly secular and heavy with emotionality. It wasn’t until I joined ADF that I began to blend music with my religious path once more.
I have over a dozen devotional-type songs that I’ve written, but I haven’t written anything in over a year—until this evening. My reflection on this evening’s creation centered on why I have been so lacking in creativity. I mean, I’m a Master Bard, and music has always been such a significant piece of who I am.
A month ago, we attended the Ad Astra retreat in Kansas where Rev. Badger and I sat on a panel discussing family paganism. One of the statements I made was, “I don’t pray well with others.” This is very, very true, and I know there are others like me.
As I was reflecting on these two pieces of information, it dawned on me. I don’t pray well with others. I think I actually need to be alone to pray. My personal prayers are private and intimate. In this place alone can I find the stillness and quiet my spirit needs to hear the songs the Kindreds are singing that I so desperately try to catch with my pen and guitar. I need alone time to be a devotional polytheist. Otherwise, I’m just going through the motions.
Fortunately, we are an orthopraxic, right action, religion. Going through the motions is the part that is required. It’s not that I don’t get anything out of these motions, because I do. I love the gift of witnessing others pray. It is a joy that I am blessed with as a Priest. It is renewing to pray with others, and it definitely helps to build good, solid relationships. What I don’t get is anything new.
Devotional polytheism is a way of praying. It’s a way of connecting. And some of us, extroverted or not, need to express our devotional polytheism in private. Much like a seed in the ground, songs and poems and prayers come to me in this solitude, and when I emerge, I have a beautiful blossom to share.