Announcing Gods’ Mouths 2.0 – A New Collaborative Pagan Blog

Gods’ Mouths 2.0
Following our own paths… together

 

We are extremely excited to announce a new collaborative alternative spirituality, paganism and spiritworking blog project with the return and reboot of “Gods’ Mouths.”

The new managing editors, Alex Bettencourt of Rock of Eye, and Wintersong Tashlin of Notes From A Barking Shaman, intend to present content from contributors with a broad diversity of relationships to spirituality, faith, gods, spirits and magic.

Posts on Gods’ Mouths 2.0 will explore the complexities of our lived experiences as spiritual and/or magical beings in ways that challenge us as readers to broaden and question our own understandings faith and practice. But through it all, God’s Mouths’ writers and editors will strive to ensure that our content does not pass judgement on people whose beliefs (or lack thereof) differ from our own, or seeks to non-consensually impose a fundamentalist worldview on anyone.

In order to best nurture an environment where that can succeed, Gods’ Mouths 2.0 is guided by one unyielding principle: there are many ways to approach, experience, and interact with the Divine and the Otherworld(s).

This means that while some of us come from traditions with strict rules and beliefs, no posts will be allowed that would seek to impose those rules and beliefs on anyone else.

Moreover, the relaunched Gods’ Mouths 2.0 rejects a hierarchical view of spirituality that says only high priests/priestesses, shamans, spiritworkers, godspouses, and adepts are entitled to have their voices heard on spiritual and magical topics. The experiences of new journeyers, solitary practitioners, lay people, mystics, and many others deserve to have their voices woven into the broader tapestry of our community.

We look forward to seeing where this new journey leads, and hope you’ll join us, be it as a contributor or a regular reader.

Alex Bettencourt & Wintersong Tashlin
Managing Editors
Gods’ Mouths 2.0

Coming out of the Drum Closet

by Elizabeth Vongvisith

We who consider ourselves god-touched are often at a loss as to how to explain the peculiarities of our lives to friends, family, co-workers or maybe even co-religionists who do not share our peculiar circumstances. Fear of being criticized, mocked, dismissed or disbelieved keeps many of us from talking about our experiences. It’s easy to believe that you are the only one who hears the voice of the Holy Ones, who feels the spirits’ presence in your surroundings, who speaks to the dead, or who has those crazy dreams or weird synchroniticies, especially when you’re surrounded by other people who quite obviously don’t, or who may even sneer at those who do. This is a shame. It would be wonderful if we lived in a society where people were accepting without being judgmental about other people’s lives, but we don’t. So the question for most of us is, how open should we be about “this god-touched thing,” and how much information is too much?

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Surfacing

I have tried here to capture the experience of “surfacing” or “coming out of the trunk” during a deity possession or “horsing” as it is generally known.

Sleep, Wintersong. Go back to sleep…

Distant voices, deep in conversation, rumble in the void like thunder beyond a clouded horizon. Wrong, this is wrong. A splinter of consciousness whispers into the dark that I should be without thought or form. Stubbornly, I cling to the fabric of the nothingness that envelopes me, like a war torn child struggling to stay buried in dreams of a time before blood and fire. The voices grow clearer one voice mine and yet not mine, and I can feel the words carving groves in my mind, and know that these scattered words will be waiting in my memory when I wake. I don’t want your words, they belong to you, not me.

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The Boundaries of Compassion?

by Alex Bettencourt

Note: this blog entry contains descriptions of violence and assault that may be distasteful and triggery.

I work a difficult day job. I work with the lowest of the low, the people who, in the eyes of modern society, are disposable, forgettable, and beyond any type salvation, be it spiritual, personal, professional, or societal. It is a dangerous environment to be a part of in all interpretations—physical, emotional, spiritual, and even professional. I have had my life threatened, the lives of my family threatened, my health has been compromised, my professional reputation and credibility has been attacked, I’ve witnessed all manner of violence and crime, and, to top it all off, I don’t get paid that well for it. In fact, my field is the lowest paid field in the umbrella of human services. I made almost twice as much when I worked in the private sector. I am almost constantly frustrated, emotionally exhausted, and despairing of both what my clients do and what they’ve been through.

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Honor Through Absence

by Wintersong Tashlin

Note: This essay only speaks to my personal experiences as a shaman and spirit worker. It is not intended as criticism, or a statement on other people who have or have not chosen to break with their milk religions.

I don’t have any ancestors.

That sentence is difficult to write, and I know the very idea is anathema to many people’s beliefs and practices. Yet for me it is the truth. And a hard truth it is, particularly as a spirit worker and a shaman who works with the honored Dead.

It goes without saying that I have parents, and grandparents, and so on. So the question arises of how can I not have ancestors? To answer that question, I have to tell you a bit about who I am, and more importantly, where I come from.

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