Alrighty. Time for an obligatory introduction post. I've been a Christian since I was 5. Now, this might seem odd, but you have to understand that at 5, I already had half of the Bible read and knew more about Christian theology then some of the people teaching my Sunday school classes. It was definitely a conscious decision on my part. I've been part of some major Christian groups, including AWANA which I think is about the best thing Christian youth can be involved in. When I was a child I attended both Catholic church and Catholic schooling. Though I do enjoy the symbolism in ritualistic religion, a lot of Catholic ideals didn't sit with me right. They didn't for my family either and so we moved to a Southern Baptist church, those were probably some of the least enjoyable times in my life. Southern Baptists (especially where I live) are close minded beyond tolerance. Other than believing in other realities and metaphysical-esque concepts, I'm goth. They don't like the goths, we're devil worshiping baby eaters.So, from there we moved on to non-denominational, Bible based churches and that's where I feel I'm most comfortable. I've been to two different ones. One was a bit more traditional and I really enjoyed it, the one I go to now is very spiritualistic. A lot of people speak in tongues, they have a healing team, people dance during worship, we have prayer time during church where we actually kneel down... I really like it. It's absolutely fine to them if you want to present your spirituality in your own way. During the songs they even have times where the music plays and you can sing freely to God. Very cool, very accepting, very loving.As far as otherkin goes, I used to really really consider myself a pooka in a human body. Yeah. I've moved on from that now and through a lot of inward reflection... yeah I haven't really figured it all out yet, but I work on those ideals when I have time. Right now as I stand in it, I consider myself completely human in both physicality and spirituality, but not "garden-variety" human. In fact I don't think there is a "garden-variety," my sense of other comes from the type of human I am. The nature of my human type is shown in my spiritual reflection. I have wings. Now, I'm not saying that other people don't, I'm sure there is a whole group of people which "coincidently" have similar personalities and spiritual beliefs that all have spiritual wings. That's what kind of "other" I am.I'm also Native American, and I find it ironic that I relate to birds of prey and that my astrological sign in the Native American zodiac is the Red-Tail Hawk, which is native to where I live. In Native American beliefs, people are strongly tied to the place where they were born. In the city where I was born, there is an incredibly large population of Red-Tail Hawks (which I believe are a "threatened" species in Florida). Some of my personal beliefs are very Native, as you'll probably come to see.I do speak with angels. Specifically, I have a very close relationship to one of my guardians. I don't know his name, but he has grey hair, and no wings. He's very tall as well, though that is of little consequence. He has been wanting me to draw him for quite awhile so when I get around to it, I'll probably post that around everywhere. He speaks up a lot through me (not by inhabiting me, he just pushes me and tells me things I need to relate), so don't get all pissed at me for his messages if they offend you (which has happened a lot). I have seen six other specific angels and have seen choruses of them as well. Makes things interesting. I also speak with the fae. I don't believe Fae live here, and specifically, I know the ones I talk to do not. They live in another dimension and they have the ability to manifest in this one mostly through a system like astral travel and that with a lot of effort they can manifest physically for very short time periods here in our dimension. There was one that used to visit me almost constantly for a period of about three years named Flouetta, but I haven't heard from her or spoken to her in several years.Other than that, I love to dance and believe that dancing creates more energy (metaphysically) then almost any other act. People who really piss me off when I'm dancing sometimes get nasty hexes that I never really mean to put on them... the energy build up just kinda makes it happen. I also design clothing and jewelry, love metal and industrial music, collect macabre objects, and write fantasy and sci-fi novels, the first of which is almost complete and ready for publishing.
When I was younger (and still practiced Catholicism at that time), I remember a discussion that came up in class one day about religion. I discreetly mentioned that I was Catholic, and all of a sudden came this roar from the back of the room -- this Southern Baptist boy (who had up until this very exact point in time had had a crush on me) literally pulled out his Bible from his bag, opened it up and started acting out beyond control; yelling at me and so forth. It was unbelievable: noone knew what to do; we all just stared in complete shock. This kid was a real racist, too; very intolerant of all things "foreign"... I forgave him for his attitude and prejudices, but he never spoke to me again. *shrugs*That being sad, I don't think all Southern Baptists are like that.... much as I don't believe all Catholics are "fill-in-the-blank". It's just that one individual whom I recall, but I believe it's experiences like these that, without education, can allow for over-generalized assumptions to root and settle in, relating one experience with an individual to a group of individuals....Being Native American, this is a question that has come up in my personal LJ lately, regarding culture, "race" and ethnicity... Are you at all offended when non-Native American peoples take interest in and seek to study Native American spirituality and/or other aspects? Welcome to the community!
No not at all. In fact, I don't look Native American at all. My great Grandmother was full blooded Native, my grandfather looks like a pale Native man, all of his features are Native. My father doesn't look Native and neither do I. I've had people act out against me at Powwow and tell me that I have no business trying to become an herbalist and learn from the elders because I'm not Native. Thankful, the elders don't follow that notion. But, I do live in Florida and the Seminole tribe are sorta-kinda racist, especially the older ones and sometimes will give me false information to try and discourage me.I'm from very mixed heritage, and I would hope that no one from either my Russian, German, Native American, Irish or French cultures would be offended by me trying to figure out more about myself through that. Originally I thought my otherness came from my Irish side, (pookas sometimes take the form of an eagle) but was mistaken. I believe that "other" is pasted down through family (at least in my case) much like the ability to act as a healer (which I also have) or holy man.You know what is really a good question along those lines? Why doo people get angry when someone dresses as if they are from a group they do not belong to? Military get mad when goth kids where service uniform pieces because they didn't earn it, but what about white kids dressing "urban" or a white girl wearing an Asian style top? I don't understand why that makes people so mad.
Those are questions I have been encountering and pursuing lately. It highly interests me. Like how those people acting out against you for not appearing Native -- I frequently am encountering more and more similar attitudes of wanting to keep "others" out and keep their traditions "in". It's a sensitive issue and I can empathize with this point of view; just look at some aspects of the "New Age" -- but at the same time, it is frustrating for those of us who honestly take an interest in "______" culture and wish to study deeper; and not just play out a fad of some new poorly-resurrected, superficial and commercialized notion of said culture's beliefs and traditions...
Like New Age, this can also be said of a lot of things, sadly. I know that the gothic subculture is not as deep or transending as a religion or spiritual path, but people are getting elitist in the community for a reason. I think because of the 80s and 90s, people are afraid of bandwagoners. No one wants fad people in their groups. "Oh it's cool to be Native American and my great great grandmother was Cherokee... ok half and so I'm Native American! *runs around saying 'How'*" or "Oh I love black! I want to be a goth!!! *runs around with bad eyeliner*" People don't take the time to know what they're talking about.I knew this was getting really bad in the Goth community when I mentioned Elizabeth Bathory and got dull stares. Alister Crowley? Dull stares. H. P. Lovecraft?! Dull stares. But of course, all of them know that one tragic Poe poem "The Raven." It's sad when people don't know where the cultures they are a part of come from.Another illustration? Calling French Fries, Freedom Fries. We should have been doing that during WWII. "Frenching" is how the potatoes are cut, not where they come from. French Fries are GERMAN.
I'm glad we connected on this! I've learned from you. :)
My pleasure. I really like talking to people about things like this because it helps me to formulate my beliefs in an organized way. I try and keep a journal (a real, physical one) with my beliefs in it, so I can watch them progress, but having someone to actually conversate with helps more than just looking at a blank page.
Really? I have been journaling since I was eleven although I do it less now (and more on LJ). I've recently gone back through those old entries, a rather involved process that has lead me to where I am right now...
That happens with a lot of things. I know someone who decided they wanted to follow the Golden Dawn deal and really got in over their head. I have to admit that I don't know a whole lot about Crowelly's work, but I can tell when someone's been attacked spiritually... poor kid.