Polytheism


I am a polytheist, which means I follow many deities. When I first started out, I read a book which said that you follow one male and one female deity as a “Lord and Lady”. My first year in Paganism soon disabused me of that notion.

For a while I didn’t really have a deity I followed (although I kidded myself I did) and then The Morrigan came knocking. I was researching Brigit at the time and then would rather have had her, but The Morrigan was adamant.

Recently, as documented in this blog Ogma walked into a meditation and told me I was following him. Brigit has also recently asked me to follow her (many years on, I wasn’t so keen!) so I made a bargain with her that if she gives me X, I will follow her.

This may all sound confusing, but they don’t get in each others’ way and I have made sure that they have no problems with one another.

Irish Deity Names


When reading about Irish deities there are two things you have to bear in mind :-

1. Spellings are optional. A name may be spelt (depending on which source you read) as Tealte, Tailte and so on and so forth.

2. There can be several people called the same name. For example, I have found seven people called Donn.

All this means that deities are a bit more confused in Ireland than in other places.

Irish Texts


The Irish texts come from two sources. The first is the monks, who wrote what they heard down and the Romans, who did the same.

Why we have to question what we read is that neither side were without bias. The monks stuck the Biblical creation story on the start of The Lebor Gabala Erenn and although the term propaganda hadn’t yet been coined, the Romans knew how to use it.

Some people dismiss the monks’ writings and ignore me when I say that the Romans were not without bias either.

This is where meditation comes in as the deities themselves can answer queries, although you may not like the answers. If you cannot meditate, or cannot meet the deity you need to gain answers, unfortunately you will have to do the hard work of working it out for yourself.

Tenets


1. Don’t believe or do things unless you know why – and “because we’ve always done it” or “because X does it” is not a reason.
2. Beliefs are not set in stone – experiences or talking with other people may change them.
3. Other people’s beliefs may be different from mine. This does not necessarily mean they’re wrong.
4. Don’t try and convert people.
5. Scholarship is the backbone of my practice. However, if the scholarship is not used, it is useless.
6. Paganism is not just something to be done at the weekends, it’s part of my life.
7. If you don’t know the answer, either go away and think about it and then come back to the person who asked the question and answer them or tell them you don’t know.
8. Be patient with newbies and people who are ignorant.
9. Always do what you say you will do, unless you forget, are prevented from doing so or have done it under duress.
10. Always question; my beliefs as well as other peoples.