U is for Unsatisfied, Unverified and Unidentified

So the first “u” option I thought of that seemed remotely able to fill up an entire post was “uses of urine” but in the end I decided to leave that to those who use more bodily fluids in their practice than I do.

You’re welcome.

Last week saw the first mention of Pagan Blog Project 2013, actually, via email and update on the website. My first thought was “oh of course I’ll do that again next year,” since I have enjoyed having something to post about every week. Since then, however, I’ve been waffling.

I am honestly not sure how much I got out of doing this. I mean, some of the things I wrote, I’m really pleased with. But some weeks, it just seems like a slog. (Three guesses what this week is, and the first two don’t count.)

I like the idea of having something to post about every week, something with some structure to keep me on track but not so much I get bored and wander off. I’m just not sure if the PBP is the best way to do that. I’ll be thinking about it over the next few months, as well as keeping an eye out for any alternatives that may come up in my feed reader.

Part of the problem is that the community of people brought together by the project is diverse to the point of meaninglessness. Aside from the word “pagan,” I don’t have much in common with a lot of the other posters. That’s okay; highly individual paths are becoming more common these days. But it means I spend less time browsing the links every week, and probably the same is true for other people.

It’s enough to make me wonder why I post at all. Usually I settle on the answer that it’s a kind of devotional act, sharing my thoughts on gods that don’t have a lot of useful results come up when you google them. Odin doesn’t need my help, but I like writing about Mara and Laima, Ilmarinen and Ran.

Unverified Personal Gnosis is a term thrown around without a lot of thought. Some people use it as an insult – “Oh, she bases her practice on UPG.”

With some of the Baltic gods in particular, I feel like I’m working on Unverified Academic Gnosis. My experience of Mara has never been in opposition to the scant academic sources I find for her, but there’s just not much, at least in English. And every time I find a new source I have to look at it with an eye toward both academic rigor and my own experience of Mara, or Laima, or so on.

I don’t feel I have the authority to write a devotional or the like for her, at least not yet. I would love to see her get more attention, so I do my small part. I share my research and my UPG.

The more information is out there, the better the chance that someone working with a deity who hasn’t identified him or herself will find the information to make that connection. I worked with Mara for an almost embarrassingly long time before I discovered the Latvian goddess. (Have I told that story here yet? I can’t remember.) I hope the next person she reaches out to has an easier time of it.

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