Sunday, November 20, 2011

Why Westya?

It's a question I've seen pop up a few times over the last week or so. Only once did someone ask me directly, but it's a question I've seen implied to others - or in general - why worship a very obscure Deity, a Deity with very little surviving information?

It's a good question. There are many Gods and Goddesses from ancient times that we have plenty of surviving information about... titles, attributes, prayers, rituals, special days, symbols and more. Artemis (who I am also devoted to) could be counted among these Deities, entire books have been written about Her from surviving information. So why worship a Deity who we know significantly less about? A Goddess, in this case, without surviving myths, prayers, or even a surviving name.

I'll be the first to admit, it can be quite frustrating at times. I have worshiped little known Deities in the past, the Egyptian Shu for example, but this is my first time working with so very little. So why do I do it?

In short, I did try to connect with the more well known hearth Deities in the past, but it never seemed quite right. However, there was something about Westya that called to me. That alone made it worth perusing for me. That hard to describe something still remains, so, I continue with the relationship. I also think that just because there is little surviving information, that does not mean these Deities should be set aside and further forgotten, that these Deities are worthless.

First, let me be clear, I'm not attempting to reconstruct Proto-Indo-European (PIE) religion by any means. My reconstruction days are long behind me. Still, I do make use of what scholarly materials I can, I believe this is an important source even for non-reconstructionists. In this case, a lot of that material comes not directly from the PIEs, but by finding the common elements in the descendant groups. Due to this, I do find myself branching out to study the hearth Deities of the descendant groups. While it's not direct information, it's at least something to go from.

Obviously I also deal with a lot of unverified personal gnosis (UPG). Some frown on this, but I see nothing wrong with it so long as it's never presented as anything else. Too often I see UPG being presented as historical fact, or some sort of universal truth that everyone should agree with. It's not. the unverified and personal parts of UPG should not be forgotten.

This is the first time I've ever really had to do that. To really just be forced to jump right in. Usually there is a ton of studying history before such actions, perhaps too much at times. Some would say it's easier to skip that and rely on UPG, that it's the lazy way... so let me be clear, this is not the way I prefer. It has been hard for me, and it is very different than what I've become accustomed to - but it is necessary for those very reasons. It's important to work on our weaknesses. 

I do this because it has been beneficial to me, it has helped me grow, learn, and pushed me into areas I've never been in before. It has given me new experiences, and revealed skills I I didn't fully realize that I had. These Deities still have lessons to teach, these Deities are still worthy of our respect and adoration. I am thankful to Westya for what She has given me, and it is a relationship I will continue to strengthen... even if it's not always the easiest way for me. No relationship worth having is always going to be easy.

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