|"The Disguise" by Daneli. Source: theflickrite.com|
I have been asked to share a little about myself – to be honest this is not something I am altogether comfortable with, for I am intensely private. I love the anonymity of the internet; it is like a virtual masked ball where one can reveal and conceal as much of oneself as one likes. Consider this post like a short walk down a darkened alley where I will expose a little more of myself than usual, only to clutch my mask and cloak and go running back to the main festivities and lose myself in the crowd.
Something that is often of interest to polytheists is ethnic background – mine is mostly Germanic (my ancestors are mostly from southern Sweden and England). Thus I am naturally drawn to the Germanic pantheon, in particular Odin – for whom I harbour a strong love and respect which some might think is a species of superstition (every time I see a raven I take it as an auspicious sign) – but I do not live in a northern climate and it is the mindset of Rome that really resonates for me. Who knows, perhaps I have Roman ancestors dating from the time when Britannia was a colony, but whether I do or not doesn’t matter greatly to me, for the inherently inclusive Religio Romana lends itself so naturally to a religious perspective which reaches beyond ethnicity – to me Rome is about culture, not DNA.*
I live in Sydney – a city of close to 5 million people from diverse backgrounds, mostly deriving from the United Kingdom but with a sizeable Mediterranean (especially Italian, Lebanese and Greek) and Asian (especially Chinese, Vietnamese and Indian) population. The climate is mild in winter and hot in summer; the culture is both hard working and hedonistic – most Sydneysiders profess no religion and those who are religious are careful not to annoy others with their world-view. It seems to me that most social life in Sydney revolves around the consumption of alcohol, or sometimes cannabis or something harder – smoking marijuana and experimenting with an array of party drugs was a strong feature of my early adult life, until I had an inevitable collapse into poor mental health, following which I became a fairly devout Buddhist, in my mid to late 20s (and thereby gave up drugs and alcohol – for a few years).
|Detail of my household shrine|
* I also note that the study of haplogroups in European populations indicates that for the most part the children of Europe are related to each other (see esp. the prevalence of the R1b and I haplogroups). See eupedia.com for more on the genetic origins of contemporary Europeans.