Oh boy. Religion. Always opening a can of worms, lol. But as Otherkin, I guess we all have our very different ways anyway, so I guess we can talk more relaxed. By itself I would not talk so much about the topic religion and me. But, since I feel my being Kin in contrast to how humans tic, I think it is a lesson for me, or so I think. So bear with me. Older people do make tales longer, haha. Picture it. Berlin. 1987.... (Hint: Golden Girls referrence. ^^) I have always been a very... devout person. I naturally sought religion and spirituality, despite my parents not being religous at all. Nor anyone in my environment; on the contrary, Germany is a very secular society with strong atheism. (Or shall we say, it WAS before so many Muslims now make public prayers, but that would really be another story.) Early as a kid I felt very Christian. I only read the New Testament, because I vividly denied the God of the Old Testament. It was when was 14, that I began to read philosophers. Confucius, Nietzsche and Schopenhauer, and from there on I was lost to Christianity. Also my life changed, much bad stuff happened, and the idea of a loving God became something I simply could not believe in any form. By chance I met Asatru people and Thelemites, and became both. In Asatru the wild nature of it attracted me. Asatru has cool Gods and a vibe or energy that spoke to me. I was out in the woods again, as in the years of being a Boy Scout, and I loved that. Becoming Thelemite Ritual Mage, was a sort of extension. No. Rather a balancing? Hard to say, I always was very multi-interested. The basic ideas of Thelema feel right to me. That everyone has a True Will or True Self or True Inner Identity or as ever you want to call it sound right to me to this day, and that we entered a New Eon is also something I believe in. For me, the character of this New Eon, is that everyone becomes his own Priest, and we abolish the old idea of Priesthood as authority. That is how I define how religion in this New Eon has to be, so that each one can develop by himself, and grow by himself. But, as it goes, as I grew older, I didn't feel the call of nature that much, I became more a modern city person, and my Asatru friends remained to be that wild forest loving folks, and finally I understood the rift was getting to great, so I left Asatru behind. I still raise a beer once and then for Odin and Thor, sending them my love and yell VALHALLA. But overall it fell behind me, so to speak. For many years I was in religious limbo. I experimented with Shamanic stuff, my Ritual Magick system led to me to learn about my Otherkin history, and that kept me busy for many years. Still, about 2 years I felt I wanted to have an Exoteric Religion, partially to ground me in rituals and festival days over the year, and partially because I felt alone and wanted to connect to people. By accident so I stumbled over Roman Paganism, the Religion of Pagan Rome. Now that is a really small circle. But I always was fascinated with Rome, and so I learned and based on what I learned I wrote rituals for the Roman festivals. Now mind you, I should interlude I never was a Wicca. The simple reason is, I have almost no connection to female dieties. So while I respect Wicca and like how they design their Rituals and how they organize themselves as a network, it is an energy I can not tap into; it would be a lie. I can nof fathom or connect to the idea of a "Great Goddess". But back to Rome. So, after a while of just talking with individuals, and after writing a whole lot for myself, I began to join an actual group and publish my ritual suggestions. And OH BOY that was when all hell broke lose. You see, I know how the Romans of old did their rituals. But for reasons too much to write here, I believed this could not be 100% redone. We dont have temples, we don't have a magistrate, but above all, in the New Eon *everyone* has to be his or her own Priest. I do not seek "frontal religion", where one dude speaks for an hour and the "laymen" have to listen like sheep. It's ok when people want that, but it wasn't what I thought Religion in the New Age should be like. I want religious ceremonies to be vivid, to have stuff to DO, not just stuff to TALK. And Old Religion was often like that: lotsa talking. So I did what I felt was mild changes, some small additions here and there, nothing much. But oh boy... "that was not how the Romans did it 2000 years ago". "Calling the Four Winds is SO Wicca". And whatnot. They had actually named themselves Senators (despite being maybe a handful of people scattered all over the globe, but humans love their titles), and made "laws" about all this. "We have laws and rules, and if you want the ritual formality changed, you need to appeal to a Senator and then the next session will debate on it and may make a new law, but your chances are zero anyway, because we make everything like they did it 2000 years ago, so STFU noob." More or less. And yes, the tone was quite... authotarian. We are the Priests and Cardinals, we don't change stuff. Now when I was Asatru priest, for a good time, I always allowed other people to have stuff, they wanted to see incorporated. One wanted a part for his Celtic Goddess, I forgot which. So we intrgrated that for him. Everyone could suggest something. I didnt act as authority figure, but merely as coordinator and "expert" when people where not sure how to do stuff. And I enjoyed that my group always developed things, that everyone could add and participate in forming the ceremonies. That is something entirely alien to me: this strong desire to have titles and offices, rules and regulation, bureaucracies. I was in MANY groups. Sometimes leading, sometimes being led. And this love for hierarchies and titles, rules and regulations is something I SO came to connect with what makes humans tick, and what at least my two Kin, Ardala and Dragons, don't. Both races are highly individualistic and respectful to the individual way. Proud to do things the own way. Humans... they want to "fit in". Maybe for some other Otherkin it is different? Maybe a more pack oriented Wolf-Kin would get along better with humans? I don't know, but would like to learn how you see that shtick of humans for hierarchies, titels and rules. I didn't even change the rituals all over, just small reforms, to make them more appealing, more different. The traditional festivals of Rome just were most all the same. One dude talks, cattle is burned, people go home. Quite boring eh? Or talking about sacrifice. They said, a true altar is, where sacrifice is burned, if you dont do that, you are doing it wrong. I deny that. I can not assume Gods desire stuff to be burned or stick to rules like that. That is a weird image of Gods. I wrote a lengthy article, how I thought what the TRUE meaning of "sacrifice" was: Love. The loving attention to the Gods. To speak to them, express your respect and loyality. To give your heart and your thoughts. THAT is what I felt the only true offering to Gods can and should be, not burning a cow or such absurdities. I wrote, the people of the past had simpler, less developed ideas of religion and we need to develop them further. I find the ideas to sacrifice to Gods like you bribe an official or paying protection money like to a Mafia Boss a hilarious concept of religion. I mean, seriously, who would WANT such Gods? I can not imagine Gods are like that. I see God as source of abudance. They dont need to be given stuff. They desire our love, our reverence. Maybe a gesture, like putting flowers on the altar, or a ritual gesture of sorts, as SYMBOL for the love and dedication, but ultimately I think Gods seek love and respect from us, not "gifts and bribes". But it seems... for humans the world works that way. Like Capitalism does. All is just a trade, a bribe, something you buy. So they buy favours from their Gods as well. They have offices and titles and rules, and you are not allowed to have your own version inside the group. Oh no. Where would we come, if we allowed that? To chaos and anarchy! *sarcasm off* Seriously. I am so tired of this "fit in" mentality. "The nail that stands out, is hammered in". A Japanese proverb, but so telling of all my experience with humans. And there is that.