Secondhand Pagan

I needed a small offering dish for Mara’s altar. I wanted to give her some alcohol, but there was nothing suitable in the entire apartment. It was ridiculous.

“Let’s go to Value Village,” I told Amber.

I don’t know what I expected to find. I thought maybe a small, plain shot glass would do the job and not look too out of place on the altar. I didn’t know what the odds were that there would be one when I went looking, but I tend to have pretty good luck at the thrifts when Mara’s on my side.

I did find some plain shot glasses, but I wound up not buying  any. Instead, I bought a porcelain cup with gold designs and Japanese markings as well as a pair of shallow green dishes with a crackle finish. The whole pile only cost me a couple of dollars, was nicer than what I’d set out to look for, and probably cheaper than a new offering dish would have been.

Actually, the vast majority of my altar stuff came from secondhand shops. A quick look at Mara’s altar, for example – one offering dish and two small candleholders were got new (though out-of-season and on clearance, so it still kept to the goal of minimizing my impact on consumer demand). The statues were from various local pagan shops. Everything else was a secondhand find or made by me.

It occurs to me that I haven’t talked a lot about what Mara asks of me. I don’t like to – I don’t trust myself not to sound pretentious when I talk about the demands of my gods or whatever. But I end up putting quite a lot of thought into this and it seems to be ever-widening. I might go ahead and try writing about it, just to get it straight in my own head.

What do you think? Does writing about stuff like that sound like oversharing? Pretentious? Or interesting? I find other people talking about it interesting, but I’m just not sure…

0 thoughts on “Secondhand Pagan

  1. I know that, for me, I write about what my God asks of me because it sometimes helps someone else know that they are not alone in their practices. I journal quite a bit privately about what I do/do not do, but I also write publicly as a way to establish a base for a newcomer so that they have something to at least look at as they discover their own path and ways of doing things for their Gods.

    1. I think I worry because, in my case, everything I’ve been asked to do is fairly mundane. I’m also mindful of some people with goals from their gods who write as if they’re better than others for having these rules, or for following them, and I worry about coming off that way. If I’m honest, it’s probably more social anxiety than spirituality anyway.

      1. The mundane is very important. I find that people forget the mundane in favor of the huge and elaborate, which I think is a HUGE mistake. We all have to live lives that are mostly mundane, so why not embrace that aspect?

  2. I agree with Alex – the mundane is the purest ritual because we never notice we’re doing it- but without it, our life is hugely impacted. I am 50/50 about my own Gods, and already I’ve gotten lip about not ‘fitting in,’ to the popular Pagan scene. It doesn’t change the relationships or intensity.

    1. You guys make a good point; doing everyday things with intent can be really important. (And don’t get me started on fitting in; it seems like all Pagan Pride events do is remind me there’s no groups up here I feel really comfortable in…)

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