As much as I love to talk, I don’t like writing so much. My writing is pretty much how I speak, long winded and full of information that may or may not be needed to get my point across. So after my editor went over the Fénidecht article with me for a 3rd time (we dropped 1000 words) and we jointly declared it ready for submission, I sent it in. Then as I fell asleep last night I was fretting everything that I removed to make it more concise and specific to the audience. ARG!!
That really is the beauty of the modern technological age though isn’t it? ADF will publish the article in the Spring edition after which I can publish another version on this blog putting that information I had to remove for length back in and making it more informative for the general audience. This flexibility should remove any anxiety I have about not providing enough information in the print edition, but it really doesn’t. Maybe I should focus on getting a larger following by the time it comes out??
My next published project was going to be on Finn as a god, but I think I will focus on gentlidecht and how I came to choose gentlidecht as the word to describe my faith. Both drafts are over 2500 words so I suspect my editor and I will be going over them a lot before they hit the blog. I hope to learn how to better write my drafts so that she doesn’t have to go over them as much in the future.
For full disclosure the editor I work with happens to be my wife. I call her my editor because being an editor and writer is her career, from Simon and Schuster to her successful freelance business. From query letters to developmental editing to ghostwriting she does it all, and I have to plug her latest ghostwriting project is now available on Amazon called “Way of the SEAL” by Mark Divine with Allyson Edlehertz Machate and it is something those interested in the warrior path should read. I will be doing a review of it in the next couple weeks and posting it here.
The following is an excerpt from the forth coming article on various personality types I have identified among the neopagan warrior and Celtic Recon community. It was pulled from another article entitled Fénidecht to be published in “Oak Leaves” Spring 2014 and on this blog June 2014.
In this excerpt I am discussing two types of ‘warriors’ we find online. The problem we have is that we can’t usually tell them apart until it is too late unless we know what to look for, and by giving information on these two I hope to increase awareness and decrease the killing of good discussions while not feeding trolls.
One of the most common féinnidi personality types I have come across is the “Challenger of the Norm.” They enjoy discussions with others and tend to ask questions of the community that force people to consider something that is counter to an existing belief or understanding thus disrupting how society thinks of itself. This has often resulted in the assumption that the féinnid is somehow trying to change things or be intentionally disruptive, while the truth may be as simple as that they want to understand another’s perspective and simply don’t know how to couch the question in a way that doesn’t seem as though they are pointing out errors in others’ understanding. Of course, sometimes an individual is in fact being intentionally disruptive, which is simply poor behavior. However, intentional or not, the community response is too often hostile, and instead of nurturing discussion and debate, the féinnid is flagged as a troll. Given an opportunity, the well-intentioned “Challengers of the Norm” will distinguish themselves by staying involved in a discussion; a troll, on the other hand, will post inflammatory statements with obvious intent to create trouble. While disruptive at times, “Challengers of the Norm” should be seen as the people who help us really know and understand ourselves by forcing us to periodically re-evaluate what we believe.
Then there is the‘Warrior Antagonist’, which is not a personality type limited to féinnidi but is a general type often found among those who identify themselves as warriors. They often appear to be “Challengers of the Norm” but as the discussion continues they tend to get more heated until finally a moderator steps in or the entire discussion shuts down. When challenged as to why they get so heated and fight the response is something akin to “I am a warrior and we enjoy conflict and fighting.” This is a behavior that no one, especially féinnidi, should accept. As modern warriors part of our martial training is de-escalation, team-work and in many organizations,including the armed forces and police forces, conflict resolution. The only time a warrior should escalate a conflict is to bring it to a quick end, and this only applies to actual combat situations. Escalating discussion and debates to the point of open hostility is also counter-productive and in the end only places the warrior in a poor light. With féinnidi already being misunderstood by the Neopagan community it is important to not be a ‘Warrior Antagonist’ and for non-warrior Neopagans to recognize the differences between the personalities to avoid killing discussions that could introduce new ideas and opinions.
EDITED – Updated the first paragraph after my editor pulled this section from the original article.
An affirmation is a positive self-empowering statement that should be said daily . They have probably always been around for a long while but became a ‘thing’ in the New Age movement. As part of our spiritual lives many make affirmations and I support this, and we should make affirmations part of our daily ritual.
As féinnidi we should do more. We should declare ourselves to the gods daily our role and remind ourselves who we are and why we do what we do. This first declaration focuses on the Otherworldly aspect of fénidecht and is a prayer that can be done anytime or anyplace.
Warrior, hunter, poet, seer, outsider, I am what
is feared by the ‘things that go bump in the night.’ With truth in my heart,
strength of my arms, and constancy of my tongue, I walk the boundary between
worlds and stand at the borders guarding against the unknown. Armed against
those who wish to harm; I am the wolf, I am the prey, I am the wild hunt.
I am a guardian between the realms, a wild beast in the wood, a féinnid
in the service of my people.
Féinnidi protected the community from invaders, from this world and the Otherworld. When standing outside a ritual space modern Féinnid should do the same. Here is a poem I wrote years ago for Pagan Spirit Gathering. I would say it as the participants would process into the circle for the larger rituals.
Finn, Chieftain of the Fiana hear our call. For we stand at the boundary between Order and Chaos, the civilized and the wild. As the tribe gathers we come to observe and protect. We shall fear no man, nor beast, and nor spirit. We shall challenge any who come to do the people ill. Gods and ungods of the people, know that we are here and we are allies. With spear and shield we will protect the people, aid the people and sacrifice ourselves for the people. We stand at the boundary between Order and Chaos, the civilized and the wild.