I’m not sure I’m going to have time to blog about every Pagan Tea Time I have with different Pagans and polytheists over the next month, but I do want to share a little about good conversation I had with Conor O’Bryan Warren over Skype recently. (I forgot my tea, but Conor had his.) Conor is the author of the blog, Under The Owl’s Wing. He is a Hellenistai, which if you don’t know, means he worships the Greek gods. He is a “hard” polytheist or devotional polytheist and a reconstructionist, but he has Neo-Pagan friends. He is an aspiring actor and student in Texas. We talked about our respective practices and about Conor’s fervent desire to build a temple to his gods and to pass his religion on to his children. I would love to see both those plans realized. We also talked about personality types (I think Conor likes to categorize almost as much as me) and about how great John Beckett is (Conor circles with him in the Denton CUUPS group). (I hear John has a wicked glare for those who misbehave in circle!)
Although he seemed little self-conscious about being young, to me Conor had the poise and wisdom of someone much older — much more so than me, I think. (This may be the product of having survived the crucible of growing up gay in Texas public school system.) For example, Conor had a very practical and healthy attitude about the cyber-drama between devotional polytheists and other Pagans, which is reflected in his writing. He sees a lot of the arguing as counter-productive to the kind of community building he is doing. I’ve got to point out one other post, in particular, because I thought it was so awesome. It’s entitled, “The Trajectory of a Convert” or “Climbing Mount Stupid”. I very much related to this, and have to admit I’ve been spending a lot of time at the peak of Mount Stupid:
Stage Five: The Peak of Stupidity
This is where you will look your ABSOLUTE dumbest for sure, the peak of stupidity. This is the point at which you’ve got the basics and fundamentals down pat and you can pretty well hold your own in most conversations revolving around the thing to which you’ve converted, folks who have been in your community for a while may listen to what you have to say with genuine interest and folks may begin looking at you as a person who they want to “groom” or pass their knowledge down to. This is all well and good but it tends to lead to a certain arrogance on our own part, this arrogance coupled with the fact that you DO NOT KNOW AS MUCH AS YOU THINK YOU DO (I can almost guarantee you that) will lead you to saying and doing some exceptionally dumb things. This is when you will get into arguments that make you look like an absolute idiot, and when the realization that you still have a long way to go will set in. [...]
It’s a fun and enlightening read. Go check it out!
I was especially interested when Conor talked about his gods: Athena, Aphrodite, and Hermes and how each relates to the other in a coherent system, something I’d like to talk to him more about in the future. Near the end of our discussion, Conor asked me about “Jungian polytheism”, which got me thinking about it again. My response to Conor will be the subject of my next post.
Anyway, thanks Conor!