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As Jax explained on Tuesday, we are reminiscing about year two of TPP. Year two! Woohoo! She shared some of her favorite princess passages (of mine) and today I get to share some of mine (of hers). This has been an eventful year for the princesses. Lots of newness and lots of opportunity to posit out how Paganism fits into our ever-changing lives.
“Despite our varying religious leanings, our orthopraxies have more in common than they do distinct. We arrive at our conclusions in different ways, but we all strive to make the world a better place, and that is the good religion (and non-religion) can do in the world irrespective of doctrine. Once we get over our need for right belief and focus on right action, we can begin to live ethically in a diverse community.” — Orthodoxy and Orthopraxy
In this post, Jax walks us through the difference between doctrine and practice — a topic that can easily devolve into argument and postering. She explains in simple and eloquent terms why what we do is equally (if not more) important than what we believe. This was definitely one of those, “thank you for saying what I’ve been thinking” moments.
“But you don’t need to worship many gods. Or one god. Or no god. To know that there’s something right in the country when so many people of diverse faiths can live together, work together, and gather in fellowship without fear.” — Pagan Strong: A Response to My Governor’s New Ad
Presidential election years are always teeming with controversy and nonsense. This election season is no different. When our governor made a bid for the Republican nomination, he appealed to the conservative right, and in doing so marginalized the liberal left. And the moderate left. And the moderate right. Jax had the brilliant idea of responding to his latent message of oppression with a patent message of freedom. <cue National Anthem>
“Now I get it. Heroes are the human beings who went out of their way to make sure the social contract was upheld and to provide justice for those who couldn’t get it for themselves.” — Oh Behave! — Wryd, Frith, and the Social Contract
Bonnie Tyler needed a hero <♫>, but for a long while Jax didn’t. Not until she was inspired by stories like Radbod and embraced bravery as an exemplar for everyday behavior. She came to recognize the positive impact heroism has on the social contract through wyrd and frith. Jax explains that as Heathens, “Basically, we do good for the sake of doing good. And we kick the crap out of people who do evil because they’re screwing life up for everybody else.” Kaw-pow!
“Excuse me while I go breathe into a paper bag a few times. … Okay, back now. “– Royal Advisors Wanted: Mixed Religious Parenting
Like I said, this has been a year of change for the princesses. Jax offers us hilarious insight into how she coped with the reality of pursuing a foster family. She and TheScott had just submitted a contract to foster kiddos in need of a happy home. The Wyrd Sisters have smiled on them and they are now providing that happy home for two wee ones, who are in turn providing immeasurable love, joy, and wonder to Jax and TheScott.
“To us it is the sun who is feminine… The one whose shrinking presence in winter kills life and whose growing attendance in summer brings abundance. The moon may come and go and life remain basically unchanged, but the sun is needed for survival. There’s a bit of old-school gender roles wrapped up in this division I suppose, but I must admit I get a kick out of thinking of men as reflecting our light, and not the other way around.” — Maiden
My favorite quote from Jax in year two is a wonderful example of her writing talents — her ability to turn a phrase, convey deep meaning, and make us rethink conventional ideas. This post is as genuine as it gets as Jax comes to terms with an unexpected life event. She struggles with a Pagan symbol that for many years eluded her, but now felt exclusionary. In the end, she finds peace in being Heathen, where the feminine divine is fiery and constant and nourishes life and hope, regardless of where those things originated.
Cheers to Jax for another inspirational year! I’m looking forward to another year of royal decrees and loyal readers. Thank you for joining us, Realm! What are your favorite Jaxisms?