Sunday, October 28, 2007

Go Go Earth Based Religion

So, I woke up in something of a mood tonight. Last night, I went out, celebrated, danced, had a cute girl gyrate against me, got really drunk, had a hang over cure, and crashed on the bed. This morning, I woke up at around noon, stayed in bed for an hour, then got up and walked over to pick up my car parked about a mile down the road.

So, I'm walking down, and enjoying absolutely *FANTASTIC* weather. Low 60's, with a very slight breeze. I'm wearing a denim jacket. Just a tinge of bite to the air, but the sun is shining so it feels warm. I take a turn into a residential neighborhood. The area is quiet, a few kids riding backs, but car noises from the main road are at minimum. The breeze blows the trees and the bushes, and I realize...

Damn, it's a nice day out, I should take walks more often.

I had promised myself to visit a local pagan group, to get a feel for what the "earth based" faith was all about. I've been once before, but I realized walking there, feeling in touch with nature and all, that it was Halloween, a very important time for pagans, and more than likely, they had some ceremony going on tonight. I smile, breath in the autumn air, and think "Why not?"

Of course, the old fundi in me at this time is protesting, "Nooooo don't go to the demon infested pile, you'll have your dishes levitate and clatter". I brush the old aside, and hit the web to discover that they are indeed doing a Halloween service. Yay! I head out, intending to get there a bit early, but am sad to discover that for some mystical reason my alarm clock was running an HOUR EARLY. Oh well, I decide to head in anyway, and walk up to the door of the small church area rented by the group.

I walk in, and nervously wait outside a set of open doors, somewhat scared to interrupt whatever ceremony that's going on. The Witnesses told me I was doomed for going, I don't want to mess with this nature deity as well - I'd be fucked on 2 counts then. One of the 'ushers' (for lack of a better term), motions me to enter and take a seat.

My immediate impression is that I'm in something of a Dungeons and Dragons religion. A blond gentlemen holds a large sword, asking people what they are doing to make the world better.

As I sit, the man faces me, sword in hand. "What service do you bring this Earth?"

I feel a strange desire to stand up and shout - "I am Andrew, King of the Kansas Citians, and I seek the Holy Grail." I decide to err on the side of caution though, figuring the guy DOES have a fucking sword on him, and I'm only armed with a jacket... So, I answer that I am a seeker of truth that desires to help others.

The sworded gentleman seems to respect my answer and bids me to enter the circle to be marked. I enter, and manage to lean down enough for a shorter lady to smear some blue paste on my face.

At this point, I'm rather disappointed by the lack of child sacrifice, beating human hearts being ripped out of chests, and positively no sex or nudity. Damn. As the lady smears the paste, she informs me that I can place something on the center altar/table thing to be blessed. I figure why not, I brought one of my decorative pieces of marble figuring this sort of thing would happen.

I place it on the altar.

Damn, I'm sure I'll have to burn that now, but wait.... fuck.... of course it won't burn if it's demon possessed. (Being stone might also make it be a bit difficult.. What was I supposed to do, oh yea, "God save my rock, protect me from the demons...")

Back in D&D mode.

Wow, the gifted Oracle of the center circle placed paste of constitution +5 on my face!

Back to fundi mode.

"God above, please protect me from this evil place"

New turn, liberal mode.

"Wow, this is actually pretty neat, a group getting together and encouraging individualism and free expression"

Wow, fundi mode happening again

"They are all going to be destroyed by God for their heathen ways"

Back to D&D mode

"I wonder if the +5 constitution paste will aid against McDonald's hamburger of Doom with -10 hp per turn."

Liberal mode

"You know, this is actually fairly cool, fuck off fundi and D&D"

The ceremony goes on for a while, I'm sitting the back, more passive observing, because I want to run if anything from the Exorcist starts happening. At the end, they pass around a chalice of whiskey

"Shit, I knew there was something to this pagan thing after all!"

The ceremony closes and I'm bid to pick up the rock I placed to be blessed.

"Wooooooohooooooooooooooooooooo, I have a rock +5 ward off evil" Damn, went into D&D mode again.

Honestly, I don't think it helped several people were wearing Halloween costumes.

Well, I *assume* that's what they were.

Ok, I have to go back next week to find out.

I can see the appeal of this particular faith path. People in these religions are generally good with whatever faith you take, after all, they have to face the social malice of not being of a given faith. And, there are a lot of different opinions as to what these nature based religions actually involved and so on.

The group was accepting, and the members I talked to actually had a strong belief system. It just happened that each of them was very personal to that individual.

And while I joke and kid about the clothing and so on, other faiths where uniforms that haven't changed for a lot longer. Who's to say a kilt and sword is any stranger than a priestly vestment and cross? I have a feeling the kilt and sword is a lot more ancient and traditional anyway.

In the event that my dishes develop minds of their own, or any number of evil things start to happen, I'll be sure to post back here. Until then, I don't know if I agree with this faith, but I do think it's at least worth respecting people that have chosen it - in the very least, they're creative.

I'm guessing that the claims of -5 ward of evil and +5 ward off evil claims of my prior faith and this recent ceremony cancel out and leave my rock, still, just a rock...

Or do they?

No comments: