Specializing in Faith & Religion
Columbus, Ohio, USA

Mead, Animal Blessings, and Durga Puja

Recently, for the OSU Religious Soundmap Project, I’ve been documenting spiritual/religious occasions at several different Columbus sites. The first, surprisingly, is my friend Mark’s kitchen. As an American practitioner of Asatru – a Germanic neo-pagan faith rooted in ancient European beliefs and customs – Mark occasionally brews mead, which is alcohol made with fermented honey. Mead is a component of the mythology that American Asatru (also known as heathenry) draws upon, and is frequently consecrated to the gods during formal ceremonies. However, mead also carries a less obvious spiritual connotation. As another practitioner, Kevin, explained to me, brewing this beverage tends to be a communal experience, and one that allows him to feel more connected to both ancestors and fellow heathens.
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Last weekend, I also attended an interfaith event where community chaplain Gwyn Stetler blessed people’s pets, the majority of which were cats and dogs.
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Finally, this past week marked the conclusion of Durga Puja, the Hindu celebration in which the Divine Mother is worshipped in her various forms. Dr. Isaac Weiner, an OSU Ph.D. student, and I attended one of the final ceremonies at a Nepali temple on Thursday.
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Thanks for looking!

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