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Reunion 2014-2015

This is the main thread for discussing Reunion 2014-2015. Here you can discuss plans, ideas, whatever as long as it relates to this year's Reunion!

Ideally, we'll have a thread like this every year to help us brainstorm ideas for this and future year's Reunions. It can also be a support thread for the 'no fighting' taboo for Reunion, which can be tough on some people.

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I'm starting Reunion separated from my partner and being in close quarters with a very unpleasant relative. The no fighting taboo is going to be... interesting. But this will also be the first Otherfaith holiday I'm planning to observe, so that's exciting itself.

I'm hoping to write some mythology over the week and perhaps ritually introduce myself to the gods if such a move feels right. I feel that if I'm going to be writing about them as much as I have, at the very least I can say hello and pour a drink.

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I'm going to be at my dad's house with my siblings for the beginning of Reunion. On Dec. 25 evening, I'm going back to my residence and I'll be there until Dec. 31. The end of Reunion is going to be hard for me because it's the first anniversary of the loss of a great friend of mine. 

However, I'm glad to be able to celebrate Reunion in some capacity this year. I'll be reading and studying myths, hopefully writing some poetry, contemplating the holiday, and giving offerings of water and light.

--Elliott/Avery

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I'm sorry you're having a sad anniversary, Elliott. December 31 is the first anniversary of my grandmother's death. I was named after this grandma and she was easily my favorite of my grandparents, and I regret never being able to tell her I was queer and had a partner because I think she would have understood.

I tend to think of "The Holidays" in America as a general ancestor holiday, so in addition to Reunion celebrations I want to spruce up my ancestor altar and light candles for my grandmother and others.

I'm also looking forward to studying the myths as well. Which do you want to read over Reunion?

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I'm sorry to hear that you lost your grandmother a year ago, but I am glad that you were able to share the time with her that you could, and bonds like that don't disappear.

Now that you mention how you think about "The Holidays" as a general ancestor holiday in the US, that makes me think that maybe I should do something to show my respects or somehow work something into my observances during this time of year. Not sure what to do, but I hadn't even considered doing something nice for Lydia's memory because I was so concerned with just surviving it and getting through the sad days.

As far as reading, I saved to my computer any of the myths that I thought were related to the holiday and I want to read and re-read them and try to digest them and experience something through the contemplation.  

I'll be writing more myths this Reunion...and also figuring out what I want to do for an Otherfaith introductory book.

I don't have an ancestor practice, but I think 'The Holidays' as a general ancestor holiday makes sense... It's considered family time by so many people in the US.

I'll also be considering how to worship Alynah and how to celebrate her birthday...and I'll also be introduced to a lot of new spirits as I take on more work with my partner spirit! So hopefully I'll be able to flesh out those spirit pages on the Wiki & add some new ones.

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Ancestor work is something I've vaguely been interested in for awhile, though I've yet to find a religious tradition that works for me which incorporates that work. Tending to the dead, remembering their names, and in some way continuing the relationship with them (or in the case of really old ancestors, starting one up) - that interests me. 

Aine, do you have any structure yet for a potential intro book?

I don't have any structure. I had some previous ideas for an intro book, but I'm not really sure what I should really put in one, considering what information is online....

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I think it's okay for info in the intro book to crossover somewhat with the information online. The book will 1) put a ton of info in one place for reference and 2) be organized in a way the online stuff is not.

I would imagine an introduction to the gods, a few major myths (The Founding of the West, Ava at the Gate), some devotional poetry and prayers, a basic calendar and ritual structure... some of which I think will continue to be fleshed out next year and in the years to come.

Perhaps we can go into 2015 mindful of the work the needs to be done to make a cohesive structure of the Otherfaith that is accessible to a wider variety of people. For example, I found an entry into the Otherfaith because I knew Aine and personally find creative worldbuilding as very rewarding work - but not everyone is me, and I can think of a lot of what I'd *like* to see the Otherfaith have that it hasn't had a chance to build yet.

I'm actually really excited with Reunion; there's a lot of content being created that's helping flesh out the holiday in terms of mythology and community involvement. I'd like to see that continue with other major holidays in the faith, especially the Apotheosis of the Dierne. 

One thing I feel that's lacking is ritual and/or liturgy - which, given the nature of the Otherfaith at present (and the current lineup of folks involved) isn't necessarily a bad thing! But it would be nice this year to experiment between the handful of us and have a list of rituals or devotional practices or whatever that are already in place to offer potentially interested newbies.

Finally - and maybe this is completely separate from the idea of an intro book - I'd like to see some more info about Otherfaith spirit work or mysticism or whatever.

Faemon, who has emailed me about Otherfaith stuff, asked me a while back about mysticism and where mysticism fits in the faith...if there is a sort of sanctuary in the structure that everyone follows that mystics could fall back on. Ideally I think that is something that mystics should have, since it keeps us grounded.

I agree that we're lacking in ritual and liturgy...as you said, not bad, but I do feel it starting to hold back my own practice. And there's fear of doing it wrong even though I know, for one, of course I'm going to get it wrong, and for two, it's okay to get it wrong! I just have to be doing, being creating a practice, and that is the hard part and factors into why we don't have ritual yet. I'm hoping to remedy that, with everyone's help of course. Ritual is just not something I can do on my own...

I think setting up goals is a good thing for us to do during Reunion - personally, but also for the Otherfaith.

Speaking of 'doing', though, for Reunion I burned any partially used candles I had. Felt good to get rid of them rather than letting them sit or trying to find something else to use them for!

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What sort of sanctuary/structure are you talking about? Is this something built into the liturgy of the faith - like everyone shares the same ritual structure or w/e so when things go wrong it's easy to troubleshoot across distances - or something on the astral to protect mystics?

[Insert regular disclaimer that Sage doesn't do mystic stuff and has only a secondhand understanding of what said stuff even is.]

On the other hand re: ritual, it's very refreshing to have a new pagan/polytheist tradition that doesn't start with ritual at the beginning of learning about the faith. I come from some very, very ritual-heavy trads, and it's nice to have a faith with openness. I don't think we necessarily need to create, say, a daily/weekly ritual that EVERYONE MUST DO - but it would be nice to offer different ritual options for folks who feel that need. For example, some people will want an initiation/dedication ritual. Some people like me are super wigged out by the idea. Some people do well with really complex ritual - others just need enough to cultivate a certain mindset. Etc etc etc.

Though for what it's worth, I would love to see a mystic-magic-religious current within the Otherfaith for folks pulled in that direction.

I do like your idea of using up old candles for Reunion. It feels like a good time for using up things that have been in storage that ought to be enjoyed and put to rest.