This morning I am waking up slowly with a cup of rum-buttered and whiskey-added drip coffee over five shots of espresso, with a raven on my shoulder and the second half of last night’s double maduro in hand. Smoke and feathers and spirits and caffeine: I now feel adequately equipped to engage with PSVL‘s latest thought provoking and rather epic-in-implication post over at Aedicula Antinoi. Join me in reading it here.
That this sprawling discussion derives in some part from my own recent discussions of hospitality notwithstanding, I am moved by the process and the continuum through which this socio-theological discourse winds and surges and spins. I find myself nodding along at much of it, but also hesitating at other parts, but I will withhold comment on either until I’ve had more whiskey and a cigar fresh to this calendar day. (My day has not begun until I’ve finished what I began the day before, and in this case, that will take another forty-five minutes or so, as this was a large cigar.)
For now, though, I feel comfortable saying that this is amongst the most important sets of dialogs and discourses for polytheists — as individuals and as movements/traditions — and for the other non-polytheists with whom we share overlap, ritual space, bedsheets or broomsticks.
I encourage folks — especially those who like to have clearly defined use of terms and ideas of what certain things mean — to suspend those for the sake of this discussion, and allow a certain level of elasticity to come into things so that we can navigate to the core of what is being discussed. It isn’t exactly about how one defines atheism or piety, but rather about some basic and intrinsic expressions of respect and acknowledgement-of-the-personhood-of-the-divine.
And in closing I think that polytheism itself, as a collective movement (which is ever held in measurable space by its slowest parts or its most aggressive instincts or its most passive concessions), would and should and could be greatly bettered if more people engaged in a learned discourse around the practical implications of animism, which is in some ways far simpler than –theism (as it does not require a specific definition of deity) and in other ways far more complex (as it steps outside the realm of little theories and big theories and into the space of lived fact and acknowledged reality). The term “personhood”, or merely “person” (as used by PSVL in today’s article in relation to the gods) is drawn from studies in and praxis-oriented discourses from within animistic engagement and consciousness.
(I am not equating animism and polytheism, but rather saying that in most instances, a certain level of animism is inherently required in authentic (and reasonable, holds-water-on-its-own, lived and practiced) polytheisms. Not all animism-based practices and traditions are themselves -theistic, but I would hedge that all polytheisms do require a certain degree of animism.)
But I’m getting away from the point, which is and always should be, whiskey and coffee and ravens and cigars. The bird has now drawn blood (talons to bare shoulder and all) which is my queue to stop typing and start tending to him while I read. So I leave you with this: