Monday, March 30, 2015

Spiritual vs. Religious

Sometime I struggle with spirituality.  First let me put this out there for who those who may not know.  I was raised Southern Freewill Baptist.  I was forced to go to church by my parents.  Let's say they did not practice what they made me go hear bring preached. I had very little if any actual believe in Jesus or the Christian God by the time I was about 15 years old.  I spent the next 10 years without any real religious direction.  I then met someone who called herself a druid and I began a journey into Paganism.  Today some 30 years later, I am a Torchbearer for the Covenant of Hekate and consider myself a Devotee to the Goddess.  It wasn't a decision nor commitment I made lightly.  There was much discussion, research and contemplation.  I believe that deities were given specific traits to help a person feel protected or even championed in order to move forward in life.  Each deity had traits assigned such as the Goddess of the Hunt or the God of War to help humans fight daily battles both of the spiritual and the physical nature.

I wanted to put that primer in place so you know where I'm coming from when I say sometimes people, confuse me and herein lies the struggle. I am a moderator for several groups. I also participate in groups related to magic, witchcraft and sorcery. Recently I was taking part in a group where the discussion turned to questions around what happened when someone died, or the afterlife.  If you ask twenty people, (including Pagans) what is the afterlife, you'll get twenty different responses.  I was surprised however by the number of people who said they would spend all eternity with Hecate.  At first I was puzzled.  I am by no means a religious scholar.  I have read a great deal on Hecate (Hekate) from an assortment of sources.  At no point did I recall a story like the one being told in this group.  My understanding of Hecate as it relates to souls was a night-wandering goddess of the dead who led souls on their journey to their next space.

More and more in my chats with people online, I'm seeing mixing of what exactly the relationships are with gods and how we relate to them.  I'm seeing more people put a Christian spin on the afterlife. I'm seeing self-proclaimed Heathens hoping to die in a glorious battle so they can get access to Valhalla. I am seeing Christo-Pagans adding Jesus to their altars next to Bast and Shiva to be included in their monthly rites. It is pretty amazing to watch the doors in Pagansim swing in a wider path, yet in our public world Christianity seems to be taking a swing backwards to the point of denying rights to LGBT people in restaurants, bakeries and places that are clearly not religious institutions.

People who take stories that were intended to teach us something literally scare me.  We cannot look at these stories for anything other than what they really are.  I do not believe that a triple bodied deity walked the crossroads at night waiting for followers to leave food.  I do not believe the flood waters covered the earth killing every living thing because a deity got pissed off.

We are a people of imagination and inspiration.  We tell stories to teach lessons and to remind ourselves that we are not the only thing in the world that deserves respect.  We should honor out families when they deserve it.  We should honor our earth, because live here.  We should take care of our water because need it to survive.  We should help someone who is down on their luck because it is the right thing to do.  Right being human, not godly.

To be a spiritual person is so much more important than a religious person.  Dogma permeates our culture and our world from top to bottom. Where ever on this planet people gather, there are spirits and deities.  They are the wind that brings the seeds and the force that brings the thunder.  We know, with the modernization of studies and the advancement of science that it isn't a god that delivers our rain. But still, you've have someone blaming a hurricane or a tornado on god being pissed off because gay people can get married.

Learning that we do not need to do the right thing because some sky god may get made, but instead because it makes us feel good to help others seems to be extremely challenging for some people to accept.  I've been writing and rewriting this post for a while.  Each time I try to make a point and it seems it always comes back to one thing.   We can be wonderful spiritual beings who go out of our way to help each other or we can be religious hatemongers who use a book of stories written in antiquity to take the rights away from others.

I believe that for the most part we can be good to each other, but only if we lay down our religious dogma and pick up some true spirituality. Christians need to stop fighting with non-Christians, Muslim with non-Muslim, Jew with non-Jew.  We need to start taking care of the inhabitants of this planet while we still have Earthlings left.

Blessings
Sosanna


Thursday, March 26, 2015

Throwing Thursday - Genie in the Bottle

So I started out making a few pots and decided to try to give them a bit more whimsical.  Here's my take on a Genie Bottle.


Photo & Potter Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo & Potter Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo & Potter Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo & Potter Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo & Potter Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo & Potter Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo & Potter Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo & Potter Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Throwing Thursday - Sounds of Spring

I'm getting so excited for spring.  I decided this year with the vardo creation kicking out what a great way to wake up in the morning than with the sound of wind chimes.  Here's the creation process.

First we roll out a piece of clay and cut or shape the chimes.


Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Once the clay becomes leather hard it is time to drill the holes and add some detail.  A word of caution here.  As you can see in the photo some of my clay bits (hats and cauldrons) are darker than the others (boots and brooms).  This is because the clay was thicker when I cut the darker pieces so it dried slower.   The thinner pieces will dry faster and be more brittle when it comes time to carve them.  A work around would be to lay a wet rag over them to soften them a bit or work gingerly.  We ended up losing one broom and a boot in this set.


Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
We used a drill bit to put the holes in and then the needle tool to etch some design detail on the other pieces such as a shoe buckle for example.

Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Detail work by Elijah Olson
 The detail was applied to both sides of the chime pieces.  The brooms turned out amazing.  I can't wait to see how these bisque and finally glaze fire.

Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Detail work by Elijah Olson
Here are a few examples of the types of chimes I'm going to try to carry.

Wolf & ravens with full moon.

Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Bear with full moon.
Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Cat & mouse with full moon.

Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Mermaid/Siren with seashells and full moon.

Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Owl with full moon

Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson


Thursday, March 12, 2015

Throwing Thursday - Latest Throw

Here they are still on the bats.

Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson


Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

     
These are some custom order diz.  A diz is a tool used to create yarn stands from fiber on a hackle.  It was my first time ever trying this type of thing. I had to order a special stand to fire them.  I love the way they turned out in the leather hard stage.  Next will be bisque fire.

Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson



Here they are off the bats.


Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson
Potter & Photo Credit - Renee Sosanna Olson

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Throwing Thursday - Spirit Bottles

My new spirit bottles or witch's jars.


Photo & Pottery by:  Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo & Pottery by:  Renee Sosanna Olson

Photo & Pottery by:  Renee Sosanna Olson