Q: Are the Other People only allowed to worship the Four Gods? Edit
A: No. An Other Person can worship any gods they wish. The Four Gods are not exclusive. This is part of our polytheist theology.
Q: Do the People have to worship all the Four Gods? Edit
A: No. Whether you identity as an Other Person or not, you do not have to worship all Four Gods. It is okay to have preferences. If you are only interested in one or two of our gods, reach out to them. We do prefer if those who are committed to the faith worship all Four, but it is not required. It is important, even if you do not revere them, to be aware of how the gods’ relationships affect each other.
Q: How do I join the Otherfaith? Edit
A: You can begin taking part in the Otherfaith by worshiping our gods and/or getting involved in the community. If you are less interested in our gods specifically but interested in faeries (which we worship), tech and modern-friendly religious practices, or think you have skills that would help in developing the Otherfaith, you can contribute by being active in our community spaces (Facebook, our private Facebook group, the Wiki, or our Tumblr). You can also contribute your ideas and help build up the Otherfaith that way.
If you are interested in worshiping our gods, you can begin in a way that is comfortable for you. We do have prayers for six of our gods that you can use. You do not have to begin worshiping all the gods at once. If you are more interested in one of the gods, you can begin worshiping or revering them. All that we ask is that you are respectful of their current canon. Because we do not have ritual or practical structure, you are more than welcome to involve the gods in your current religious practice, as long as you (and your gods and spirits) find that acceptable.
The answer to this question is based on what is meant by it. If you are wanting to join the Otherfaith community, you can reach out to the spaces we have available. If you are wanting to worship the Four Gods and join in that way, you are more than welcome to start doing so as you find able. You do not have to identify as an Other Person to join in the Otherfaith at this time.
This question is separated from ‘How do I become an Other Person?’ as that question addresses identifying as an Other Person.
Q: How do I become an Other Person? Edit
A: Identifying as an Other Person is very easy at this point. There are no dedication or initiation ceremonies making someone officially an Other Person. There is no head of the Otherfaith to declare you an Other Person. All that is required to identify as an Other Person is to worship one or more of our gods and wish to call yourself an Other Person. This word shows you ally yourself with the Four Gods and our spirits.
There has been one time in which people were spiritually and energetically removed from the faith, and that was regarding a case of abuse and predation - which is the only time such ceremonies are conducted. This is because of the People’s anti-abuse stances.
Q: What is a good basic/introductory offering? Edit
A: The most basic offering for the Four Gods and their related spirits is water and light. Water and light are both key components to the Other People’s shrines. Light can be either an actual candle with flame or LED or artificial candle of some kind. Water can be poured on the ground after the light has been lit.
Another basic offering is milk and bread. This can be left out for a short time before being disposed of, or you can place it outside somewhere if you have space for that.
Q: Is there a dedication ceremony in the Otherfaith? Edit
A: Not currently. A self-performed dedication ceremony is in the works for those who want to dedicate themselves to the Four Gods and declare themselves formally as an Other Person. This dedication will not be lifelong nor binding for life, as the Four Gods require continuous consent from their People.
Q: Is there an initiation ceremony in the Otherfaith? Edit
A: There are initiations given by the spirits to the individuals they wish to bestow them on. There are no current initiation ceremonies. Any that are created in the future will likely not be public.
Spirit initiations are intended for entrance into one of the gods’ Initiatory Orders (Vivant, Rue, Nix, Delicacy, Felicity, and Sortie).
Q: How do I communicate with the Four Gods? Edit
A: You can communicate with the Four Gods through prayer or just speaking to them. Silent prayer is a practice in the faith - basically, prayers are said silently, ‘in the mind’ rather than spoken or written. You can also write down your thoughts to the gods; it may feel more communicative to burn or fold up what your write. If you are inclined, you can also journey to the People’s otherworlds and communicate with the gods and spirits there.
Another method of communication is through developing headcanons about the gods and writing for them. Writing stories about them and figuring out what works and doesn’t work, which of your headcanons may be good additions to the larger canon, etc. is a way of communicating with the gods. Using your imagination can help you understand these gods better and eventually communicate clearly with them.
Q: How do I know if a god is trying to contact me? Edit
A: Aine wrote a bit about this in their ‘Divine Communication’ post. There are many ways one can discern if a god is contacting you, but Aine divides them into signs, dreams, visions, voices, divination, and intuition.
Signs are the gods’ symbols appearing in our daily life, such as unusual animals crossing our paths, images popping up repeatedly around us, or phrases being said around us very often for a short period of time.
Dreams and visions are similar. Sometimes we can pray to receive divine messages through dreams; other times, the dreams will simply be given to us. These can involve the gods revealing themselves or be dreams full of their symbolism. Visions can be waking dreams, daydreams, or sudden trains of thought, often overwhelming.
Voices can be sudden bursts of internal voices saying something relating to the gods and spirits. These voices are often unbidden. This type of contact must use very careful discernment lest you let your own mind carry off with you.
Divination is another way the gods can communicate with us. Any form of divination can be used, as long as it is not appropriative or belonging to one culture.
Finally, intuition is a simple knowing of something about the gods, a feeling. Many people will experience this when writing about the gods - a sudden feeling of the story being correct or true. These feelings may prove wrong, but they are especially helpful in daily practices.
Q: How do I handle new information about the gods? Edit
A: We call new information that people encounter or believe about the Four Gods and their spirits to be headcanon. Understanding our gods requires people to put forth their own ideas about them, but developing your own practice also means developing your own personal ideas about the gods. If your new information doesn’t conflict with canon, simply incorporate it into your understanding and practice. If you feel it would be useful to others, you can offer it to others. Headcanon can eventually become canon in the Otherfaith!
Q: How do I discern my experiences? Edit
A: Discernment is a lifelong process. You will always be discerning your experiences - and those of others, in how those experiences relate to you. Many people recommend divination as discernment, but divination can lead to more confusion or confirmation bias. Writing down your experiences and ideas and checking them over later can help you discern. So can letting any sudden revelations simply stay in the background of your mind - rather than focusing overmuch, you let time pass to see if your ideas still carry weight. Questioning yourself is another way to discern. Constantly learning new things is another way to discern, as you’ll be challenging yourself with new ideas and having to confront your expectations or assumptions. Assuming and expecting are some of the biggest blocks to discerning.
Honesty with yourself, and others, is vital for discernment to take place. Be honest if a revelation about the gods fits in with what you want. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s wrong, but it’s important to know. Also pay attention to if all your experiences and revelations are things you hate or don’t want. Discerning should keep you from existing in extremes all the time.
Q: What ways can I participate in the faith? Edit
A: You can participate by worshiping our gods and spirits, contributing mythic stories, or becoming active in our community. Currently, we need activity in our Wiki forums, so that more of our community is public and accessible.
There are three different division of Other People - laity, clergy, mystics. We currently don’t have a role for clergy as we don’t have established community in need of ritualizing for, nor do we have enough structure for clear roles for clergy. (So, in practical application, we really just have two groups at the moment - laity and mystics.) People may identify as they choose, but the divisions are meant to separate those who do journeying and spirit work from those who do not. Laity may write myths, speak with the gods, and be spoken to by the gods in turn; they simply don’t dedicate themselves over to the gods on the level of a mystic. They may also have more trouble hearing the gods, and they may not be interested in journeying. Mystics become ‘lost’ in the world of the gods and bring back their experiences and spiritual skills they are given by the gods and spirits, intended to help in spirit healing and energy manipulation in this world. Currently, these divisions can be very loose. The main difference should be seen in how much an Other Person has offered to the Four Gods - laity have looser bonds than mystics do.
Someone may take up mystical responsibilities but not bind themselves to the Four Gods in any fashion; these people may not identify as Other People but worship the Four Gods in their own way. We don’t currently have a term for people such as this.
Q: What levels of involvement are there? Edit
A: Beyond laity-clergy-mystics, there are many ways of being involved in the Otherfaith.
Someone who has the Otherfaith as their primary practice will likely dedicate a lot of their time to the religion. This would involve reading the current myths, writing more, praying to the gods, and trying to develop their own practices for the Four Gods. It could also involve setting up a shrine for the Four to keep. These people might explore other religions or spiritual ideas, but they will likely have them all tie back into the Otherfaith in some way. Because of the emergent nature of the Otherfaith, people with the faith as their primary will likely come up with a lot of new holy days and structures. (Aine is an example of this.)
Someone might also have the Otherfaith as a secondary practice to another religion they follow. This person likely develops their own headcanons and ideas about the Four Gods, but they may not be as focused on developing them into canon. They might also write stories about the gods (mythic fanfiction) and have them included with the Otherfaith mythology, but they likely aren’t concerned with getting huge sweeping sagas about the gods and spirits out. If they are mystically inclined, they might visit with the Other People’s gods and spirits at times, but they would likely hesitate from getting too intimately involved or intwined.
A person who has the Otherfaith as a tertiary or side practice would likely focus on the holy days and trying to honor them (which will be made easier as we get more practices in place). They likely wouldn’t contribute much but might keep an eye on developments in the Otherfaith. If they do spirit work, they might have the Four Gods butt into their lives but only infrequently. They would not be considered ‘lesser’ Other People, simply someone who focuses on other practices. The Four Gods may come after a long list of other gods and spirits in their life.
It is important to note that someone might have the Otherfaith as their primary or only practice but not dedicate a lot of time to it - whether for mental health reasons or life reasons. People will also slide between contributing a lot of content and then not feeling as involved, which is also okay. Ultimately, your involvement depends on what you want and can do and what the gods ask of you.