Home > Io Diogenes!, Military, paganism, Spirituality > Pagans and the ‘Warrior Path’ Take II

Pagans and the ‘Warrior Path’ Take II

So it’s early morning, and it is Memorial Day. I also have a hangover, and a neck injury (don’t ask). But I figured if there was any day I needed to tie up any loose ends on this topic here, it would be today.

First off, I don’t always have time to individually respond to all comments posted to this blog. The needs of gods, spirits and men–and dead critters–keep me occupied much of the time, and the internet largely takes a backseat. But I do approve all comments, even dissenting ones.

Secondly, while I’m on the topic of Pagans who Get Shit Done (see my last post on highlighting nifty polytheists), Erynn was one of the commenters in my last post, and she had some good things to say that people should consider. I was going to use this post to respond to some other comments, but she already beat me to the punch on a couple issues. She is a disabled veteran and activist in a number of different areas including feminism and veterans issues, so look her up sometime.

Anyway, jumping straight to the meat and bones of the post–something I’m going to touch on very briefly but something I should have mentioned in my first post. Patron Deities. In fact, I’ll just break it down simply.

Having a Patron who is a Warrior Deity does not make you a warrior. It doesn’t make you a warrior anymore than being the son or daughter of a plumber makes you a damn plumber. You can stare at your dad’s asscrack all day long as he works, but that doesn’t mean you’re going to be able to unclog a damn toilet unless you go to school and make the necessary steps to become a plumber. My dad is a veteran, so are both my grandfathers, several uncles, a couple friends, and some people I have volunteered for. I am not a warrior. At best I can be classed the damn water-boy. Even warrior deities need more than just warriors amongst their mortal crew.

Recently I was reading a book written by someone who was calling themselves a warrior (had a Warrior Deity as a Patron, of course), when, to the best of my knowledge, they had not listed military service amongst their many religious and temporal credentials. This isn’t the first time I read such a thing, and every time I do it’s like nails on a damn blackboard to me. When people claim a title which isn’t theirs, it disrespects the people who rightfully earned that title. In my case, it disrespects the many people I know who have earned and sacrificed for that title.

Especially on this day, we should remember the people who are the true warriors, who have made the ultimate sacrifice. If we as Pagans and Polytheists want to harp on at length about “honor” and “duty”, perhaps we need to reflect today on those who really put their money where their mouth is. Who took that ultimate step. If honor goes anywhere, at least on this day, it is to them.

  1. May 30, 2011 at 4:13 pm

    I really appreciated this post. I was always mildly annoyed by Pagans who claimed a “Warrior” path but never walked it, and could never really pinpoint why.

    Warriors are important to our society. They always have been and always will. But claiming the title of “Warrior” when you haven’t earned it is an insult to real warriors – such as soldiers.

    It is possible to life a live of service and honour without being a warrior, I wish some of the more insensitive parts of the Pagan community would realise this.

  2. Norma
    July 25, 2011 at 1:21 am

    Great post. My husband is a combat-disabled Marine veteran, and Catholic. He’s a warrior. I have asked for, and blessedly received, help for him with disability-related medical crises from Ogou Feray. In that instance, a warrior lwa helped a warrior. In turn I agreed to give offerings and serve Ogou in my husband’s name as he cannot based on his faith (he knows I do this and is good with it).

    I would never claim to be a warrior myself. That would not be appropriate. Being affiliated with real life, or non-corporeal, warriors does not rub off some of the “warrior shiny” onto me.

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