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Today’s Thing I Don’t Know How To Say

Reconstruction is a waste of my time.

Not just my time. Everyone’s time.

All of this research and digging and putting pieces together and all of this work, it would be a better world, better for us, if we didn’t have to do it. If we could just get on with doing the thing.

If we could honour the gods and build our communities and make the world better without having to write the guidebook first.

This is the one thing that I actually envy about the people for whom read-a-book religious witchcraft-derived neopaganism actually works? They don’t have to do this shit anymore. They don’t have to think about how to religion, they can just do it. Here’s the festival schedule, there are eight things on it, there are probably public celebrations if you want to go to them, here are a couple of practices, go to, you’re set.

And if they want something like that that goes more substantial, there are a bajillion religious witchcraft groups and trads out there with a bajillion different ways of training and a bajillion different sets of variable practices and they can get more out of that.

And what do reconstructionists get? The research mines. (Or the “take my word for it” gangs.) Those are the options. And there aren’t enough “take my word for it” gangs for there to be meaningful choice for a lot of them, there’s just ‘are you in or are you out’, or ‘which of these handful of factions do you ally with’, or. It’s not like “Welp, there’s another church down the road”.

And some people take going through the research mines as a badge of honour. “I learned the basics by sifting through academic prose, and thus that is The Way To Go, the hazing ritual for every newbie ever” but the thing is reading academic prose is not necessary to practice any fucking religion ever outside of some forms of bibliolatry. It’s this spurious, superfluous skill that’s being tacked on as a gatekeeper thing.

You wanna become Catholic? They don’t say “Read these academic books about Catholicism and history”. They don’t even say “Read the Bible and the Catechism”, or some nonsense like that. There’s RCIA to go through, which may well have some of that reading in it, but it’s done in community, under guidance of people who help them come to the right-for-the-appropriate-values-of-right-in-that-community conclusions.

I could probably make an argument that one of the reasons some strands of USonian Protestantism have grown quite as many psychedelic varieties of mold as they have boils down to they don’t have anything like that going on, and they haven’t had for multiple generations of practice, which means that the worldview presentation is basically subject to Loudest Voices Rule. (I mean, and that’s not taking into account the stuff that Fred Clark points out about how certain strands of evangelical/fundamentalist Christianity were basically invented as slavery apologism, because a clear reading of The Lore supports slavery, until that is no longer politically acceptable, at which point the clear reading of The Lore supports something else, and we have always been at war with Eastasia, how dare you suggest that anyone ever thought differently.)

(Sola scriptura can go weird in ways that scripture + tradition don’t. Of course, tradition can go weird in ways that things that don’t have it don’t. Everyone’s screwed up, you pays your money, you takes your chance.)

Anyway. That’s a tangent.

In an ideal world, I’d have been able to convert and be happy with what I’d converted to, and get on with my life. As opposed to the world where I converted, was briefly happy, then realised a bunch of issues that meant that I had to go reinvent the wheel in order to get something functional and consistent and so on, and I have spent years on this which I might have been able to spend on other shit if the resources had been available for me to do my thing, get the stuff I needed for the mods I wanted, and carry on with my life.

So, basically, because I resent the way I’ve had to waste my fucking time, I’m trying to make resources available so other people don’t have to. Or at least don’t have to waste as much fucking time.

1 comment to Today’s Thing I Don’t Know How To Say

  • Crowess

    It is a tedious, thankless, obsessive process, but carrying it through to the end can certainly be worth it (or worth more finishing it than in abandoning it at this stage, even if we resolve never to do anything like that ever again). Brave heart!