Strong Roots and Wide Branches: A Polytheist Class with River Devora

Last summer, I had the chance to help a good friend and local pagan community leader, River Devora, build out a course on the fundamentals of polytheism. She had seen a need in the Bay Area’s community for a place for polytheists from many traditions to share experiences and techniques to build interfaith dialogue and further refine our individual spiritual practices. I was honored to be asked to help review the curriculum, as I definitely saw the need for it and kinda wished we had had something like this back when I first became pagan. I added in a lot of my insights from my 12 step program, my recent interfaith work, my years of being a schoolteacher, and as my personal experiences as a dedicant of Freya and a member of the Heathen tradition for the last 15 years.

At PantheaCon this year, River, and Anomalous Thracian (both of Polytheist.com) presented some of the concepts that the classes will cover and the reasons behind wanting to create a class like this. The class will meet monthly and will cover one topic each month (or two months, depending on the amount of discussion a given topic involves), and the topics range from concepts such as ancestor veneration; divination; what it means to be a priest in a given tradition; how different traditions handle life changes such as birth and death; and the different types of relationships that we have with our deities. Due to the enormous interest in the class already (and also because I and a few others, such as the Thracian, are not be able to attend in person) River has decided to open it so students can participate online as well.

River, Rynn Fox of the Wild Hunt and Coru Cathubodua, and likely other drop-in experts on various topics, will be leading the classes. If you’re interested in attending one or all of the classes, you can find out more info on River’s Patreon page here and on the Strong Roots and Wide Branches Facebook Group. The first class is called “Intro to Living Polytheism” and will lay the foundations of the class as well as be a meet and greet for all of the people involved. I’m very excited to participate in the discussions and to see how the class progresses! We’ve already gotten a lot of feedback from various deities and powers that be that They are just as excited about this as we are; in my opinion it will help lead a bunch of people to a polytheist path and help us have stronger foundations to continue to grow our traditions to honor our Gods.

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