And the Oxford English Dictionary Said unto the Poet…

A mystiskeptical seeker, my faith is strange. The spiritual truths that I have I know are mine alone, and they have been hard-won. Believe me when I tell you that I am aware of how silly this stuff can sound. Then again, from the right perspective, everything can sound silly. And I am quite fond of silly things.

I am a priestess. There are many who say that all Pagans are clergy, and while I wouldn’t quite put it that way, I don’t entirely disagree. I don’t claim a fancy title, but perhaps I am competent to listen to problems, and I know I am competent to conduct my own rituals. With a little work, I can lead a circle. It’s a skill more than anything else. But a priestess in popular conception is a priestess of a Deity. Maybe more than one.

This is where it gets sticky. If you laugh, I promise I’ll pretend I didn’t hear. I promise I won’t stumble through it, racing to have it done and to await your giggling, your snickers. See, my Deities are not the Greek Gods. They are not Roman Divinities. They aren’t Celtic, Norse, nor Egyptian. I do not worship the ancients of Sumer, nor do I appropriate Hindu Gods. I could make this list a lot longer but… you get the picture. I found my pantheon preserved in fossils, reading myths on the slant then watching the spiders weave. I discovered them in coffee grounds and in reference pages. They are Gods that span my world, and maybe I didn’t uncover them. Maybe one by one, they discovered me.

I call on them when I need them, when I dream them, when the moon is right, when my throat opens up and they are there. Metaphors a like that. They abound because they are bridges, balloons, and maybe pumpkin carriages, too. I call them by name: Arachne. Triceratops. Caffeina. The Oxford English Dictionary. It all seems so serious until I break out the bibliomancy, crack a page, set the maggot-frying-lens, and the definition upon which my finger has fallen is “mirth.”

Maybe it’s that all religion is really quite silly and it’s the traditions and trappings that let us think otherwise. If so, there’s no reason not to invent new ones, raucous with absurdity, riotous with glee. In that case, I’ll stick with a mirthful smirk and a coffee in hand, watching the spiders work and dreaming dinosaurs.

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