• Even trees rent by lightning may grow new fruit. Code of Ananda
    Cult of Ecstasy splatbook; White Wolf Games

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  • Just a quick note
    I’ve updated my bio page with a link to Les Cabinets Des Polytheistes, where my story “Spine of the World” is published (and in which people can play Spot The Netjer if they are so inclined), and my less-specific webspace Suns in Her Branches, which is broader than this space (which is specifically for reconstructionist-derived […]
  • Opet article is up
    And can be read here.Filed under: Patheos Links
  • Opet is coming ’round again
    And the Emboatening Crew is once more celebrating by making Kiva loans. You’re all welcome to join us. (My monthly column in Patheos Pagan is about Opet and charitable works, and will be going up tomorrow assuming nothing goes wrong.)Filed under: Festivals, Uncategorized
  • The Art of Being A God
    It’s interesting having one foot in reconstructionist religion and one foot in religious witchcraft, for a lot of reasons. One of the things that I’ve been thinking about lately is the shape of how the gods appear within the context […]
  • Mythopoeia
    Continuing with rambling on the topic of my exploration of pagan movement history, another critical concept: mythopoeia. The word means, literally, “myth-making”, and it is one of the near inescapable traits of at least the origin points of pagan religions. […]
  • Hills of the Horizon: The Past is Another Country
    The problem with extrapolation from history is that nothing is testable. The evolution of a religion over time is not a predictable and easily comprehensible thing, where we can look at a point in time and say, "It was like this then, so it would be like that now." The process of deciding what needs […]

Everything Reflects on Everything

So earlier I happened to follow a link to a person commenting about the SCA and social dynamics therein. Specifically, they commented on the tension between the people who are seeking authenticity, and the people who are looking to have fun.

They touched on a number of places each of these people cause trouble for the community as a whole – the authenticity sorts who wax pedantic about the failures of others to conform, or who may be wholly committed to doing one thing Correctly but whose ignorance of other things and disinterest in presentation means that it all falls down in the social context, or who will assume that because their clothes are correct that’s what matters and they can throw down about techjob nonsense without interfering with other people; not that the funsters aren’t likely to throw down about techjob nonsense if that’s what’s most entertaining, or show up in fairy wings, or whatever else might happen.

They pointed out that these poles produce a vast excluded … not even middle, but way of approaching the thing, that of the experiential. The pseudomedievalist fantasy might be easiest to construct with people actually doing medievalist stuff, but when the Stuff overcomes the mimesis it breaks the immersion. The idea of the thing is to bring the enjoyment in through the created illusion, after all.

So I read this, and for the life of me I can’t think of anything other than, “Oh. It’s the recon problem.”

Because there’s that slavish adherence to the accuracy of minutiae without consideration of the spirit of the thing, which is only made the more pedantic by opposition to Those Fluffy People Over There Who Are Having A Good Time…

And the structural, well, what is the actual experience of a live religion supposed to look like, then? That’s… the vast excluded and often ignored space.

So, huh. But maybe this thing is a useful mirror and gives me an angle from which I can poke the subcultural problem.

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