Today has been an active one on Tumblr where the discussion has centered around laity and the concept of “woo” or “woo folks”. For those who don’t know what woo is referring to, I’d recommend taking a look at this post here. Please note that while some people dislike the use of the term “woo”- there is no other good viable alternative, so that is what I will be using throughout this post.
Throughout a lot of the discussion on Tumblr I noticed two large problems surfacing:
- That being a layperson means you’re not a “woo” person.
- That someone who lacks “woo” in their practice has nothing to write about or anything of interest to say.
I wanted to address both of these points in this post because I think there is some confusion occurring on some topics, an its a crying shame that people feel they’ve got nothing valuable to bring to the polytheistic/pagan sphere. We all bring something to the table!
A lack of woo doesn’t mean you are instantly a layperson.
When reading these posts, many people seemed to equate a lack of god phone, astral travel, or general mysticism to mean that you are instantly a layman. This is simply not true. There are many people who are priests and don’t have daily chats with their gods about who knows what. There are also tons of bloggers and pagans who talk with their gods all the time (or go on astral travels or whatever) and they consider themselves laypeople– myself included.
We would all do well to break free of the notion that “woo” and laity are somehow mutually exclusive. They are not. Remember that from a Kemetic standpoint- priesthood is an orthopraxic job that doesn’t really require you to be able to talk to, feel, or hear the gods – and in many circles, its an accepted “fact” that ancient Egypt is devoid of any woo, mysteries or shamanism of any kind. So it stands to reason that priests could have been entirely headblind, and yet were still able to perform their function and jobs. Additionally, Shinto priesthood is also orthopraxic- no god phone is required. You can be a headblind priest just as easily as you can be a cracked out layperson.
Okay, so I’ve got no “woo” and I’m not a priest- what on earth do I blog about? Where do I start?
This right here is the crux, the point of this post. “Where do I begin?” is an important question and I understand the frustration of wanting to talk about your entirely “boring” and “normal” practice, but not knowing what to talk about. I decided that I would gather up some ideas about what completely normal, non-woo polytheists could easily blog about, and believe me, it’s not as difficult as it seems!
First off, I recommend you go back to basics- your religion and your gods. What concepts about your deities or path could you elaborate on or discuss further? A lot of Kemetics discuss concepts and ideas that are central to our religion – all of which are entirely “woo” free. We also like to write about our gods and mythology (and again. and again.) – some of which is historical and some of which is entirely UPG. And on the note of UPG, it is possible to come up with ideas and challenge concepts related to a god (or their mythology) without having a god phone. I have pondered and poked about the Osirian myths from a purely historical perspective- no god phone or crack visions included.
So if you’re looking for ideas on things to write- start with your religious practice. Look for concepts and ideas that you can write about. Your writings can be historical or research driven, or you could muse on topics to open the floor for further discussion with fellow practitioners. Don’t forget to look at your gods and mythos to see if there are interesting things to be discussed there.
Beyond concepts and ideas, you could write about holidays, shrine making (if it pertains to your path), offerings, rituals that laymen might perform, or symbolism within your personal practice. Figure out what it is about your particular religious path that makes it tick or work and see if you can translate that into a post.
You could also write about devotional activities- this can run the gamut from devotional jewelry, devotional writing, cooking– you name it. Discuss how you bring your practice into your day to day life or how you see the gods in the world around you. Or you could write about how you cope with a lack of god phone, or fears and concerns that you have due to your lack of hearing. Even our concerns and troubles have value in the blog-o-sphere, because it allows us to reach out to one another and support one another in times of crisis.
Conversely, you could not write so much about you and your practice, but instead focus on writing out and creating resources for people who are already practicing your religion or path. Many Kemetics make a huge fuss over 101s and guides and resource lists. None of these things require “woo”- they only require the patience and drive to read the materials and create the lists and reviews for people to see.
Truthfully, you could easily take a look at the KRT Topic Queue and see a whole list of topics that is based off of practicing Kemeticism sans a god phone or astral travel. Additionally, answersfromvanaheim wrote a short list of topics you could look into as well.
Hopefully this will help to give some of you (god phone or no god phone, woo or woo-less) some ideas for things to write about from a religious or spiritual standpoint. I, for one, would love to see more people writing about their practice – regardless of what form it takes. We all have something to bring to the table, and there is always something we can garner from learning about how others practice.