Reconstruction is, of course, right in the middle of my comfort zone. The process, I mean. The collection of data, the cross-connections, the synthesis, a nice dollop of reasonable and intuitive extrapolation, and it’s all good. Everything can be triple-checked against the information, and if it aligns with the way the ancients did it, it’s safe, it’s secure, it’s reliable.
I’m pretty sure this impulse is one of the reasons that I’ve had conversations with religious witches that basically boiled down to “Your religion is boring and dead.” And why so many reconstructionists drop into that familiar failure mode: I can’t find it in The Lore, so it’s not legitimate! I want three references for anything I do!
Because it’s safe.
Religion – done devoutly – is not actually a safe thing. Oh, it has its comforts and securities, as anyone who has fallen back into the familiar rhythms of shrine ritual can certainly attest; it has its touchstones and its affirmations and its reassurances. It can offer structure, it can build a framework for meaning, it can do all kinds of things.
It can leave one tremblingly angry with the Powers. It can force one to face one’s inner monsters. It can challenge ethics, demand accountability, or otherwise command action. It can demand commitment beyond the easy. It can compel growth. (And, in its shadow forms, it can do the inverses of all these things – in which case the danger is inflicted upon others.)
I’m pondering a lot of comfort zone issues at the moment, really – hence this post. For reasons too complicated and personal to go into, I’m trying to parse out how to build a relationship with a god who isn’t one of the big names around town, who’s present in The Lore (tee em) but usually as more of a casual name-drop than a central figure. I’ve been puttering through my books, doing internet searches, I dig up his entry on archaeowiki (using the archive.org files, since archaeowiki itself appears to be down) and find two book references – one I already own, one I can get for under twenty bucks.
I’m going to get that second reference book when it arrives in a week, and read that article, and after that …
… it’s just me and the god, and me having to ask, “What do you want? What do you have to teach me?”
And I’m betting I won’t really have a better idea of what to expect after reading that section of book than before. But the book is a blankie, that last hint of edging out to the end of the limb on the comfortable parts, before the leaves start to dip under the weight.
Before the leap of faith.