Hey Craig, do you have any eloquent words for people looking to build a local cultus worshipping European gods in Australia and New Zealand?


I do, actually.

(Though whether they are eloquent is, as ever, debatable. But sod it – you asked.)

Land first, then any indigenous knowledge second, and then the gods.

That’s the action plan for establishing cultus wherever you go.

The area you’re going to be working already has its own wights. Developing a relationship with them is vitally important before you ‘bring in’, as it were, another Power. If you’re not indigenous to the area, whether that be hailing from another continent ancestrally speaking, or the next town.

There are very few places on this planet that are ‘empty’ of beings – in those, it’s usually because something Major happened, The myth of ‘virgin’ territory is as ridiculous as the myth that ‘virginhood’ was solely linked to whether you’d had sex in all other cultures. Even in those places, it’s likely the very body of the land remembers and was affected by those events.

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: The world is alive and full of beings, interlinked Powers and Contexts. This means that, contextually, dedicating/performing local cultus to a European deity in an area where European colonizers systematically attacked indigenous structures of knowledge, lifeways and spiritualities, is going to be complicated.

It just is. There’s no getting around that. So it behooves us to work out what context we’re operating in. Which means putting in as much work as we can regarding local history, both pre-and-post colonization. It means saying “Hey, you were here first. So, introduction time: This is me. How about you tell me about yourself because I would like very much to co-exist with you in a way that benefits us all.”

You have to put yourself out there, and then there’s always the risk you’ll be given a Flat No. And I mean, you could still proceed, but that’d be a bit of an arsehole move, if you ask me.

And when I say ‘indigenous knowledge’ I do not mean attempt to ape the rites and cultures of indigenous folks, I mean looking to see what the stories say and accepting that as a valid form of knowledge, and then using that knowledge to deepen your interconnections.

Explorer (and ancient Imperial) cultures all probably had their own ‘spiritual diplomatic protocol’ for dealing with new places. Now, I’m not going to be woobie here, and not admit that some of them had a protocol which was Command and Conquer. But if we look at history, we find the Romans and their legions, as well as the Greeks, would adopt local deities into their pre-existing worldview – either syncretizing cults, or dealing with these deities in some fashion which represented a hybrid, and yet was distinct from original worship. (Occasionally, of course they would import cults wholesale).

Once you have a set of negotiations performed with the locals, then bring in the ‘foreigner’. (If you know actual indigenous people who are willing to talk with you over this talk to them first, because they also qualify as locals. duh).

In my view, everyone should develop a ‘spiritual diplomatic policy’ particularly if you are in any sense a polytheist and/or an animist. Understanding that humans are wights, that we are spirits too, and in no sense inherently superior to the ecosystem, spiritual and otherwise, but are inextricably linked to it and part of it is not just good practice, but helped our ancestors survive? That’s important.

But what if you, as a European-deity honourer, find a place where you can’t  not feel the urge to honour your gods?

Where your god stirs your soul to irrevocable levels? If you can’t engage in long term diplomacy for reasons that don’t make you a dick? Then honour them, and then add a catch-all honouring for other wights of that place, and if you’re going to be returning to that place? Then bust out the diplomacy kit.

There’s a tendency I see on tumblr to refer to [Euro/other-god] of [place where they did not originally emerge], and to some extent that echoes ancient system. But you can bet your bottom dollar that at some point, a religious system of diplomacy was set up by priest and/or worshippers in those places for the pre-existing inhabitants. Hell, sometimes the foreign god was honoured in a place because the worshipper had encountered a being who the closest frame of reference they had for the experience was a non indigenous god. Does that mean that Nodens Mars (a Romano-British deity) was Mars? Possibly, or possibly not – the fact that Nodens was kept as a name suggests they were connected-but-distinct in some fashion.

But when I see Odin of Idaho as a made up example, I find myself wondering if perhaps it is not merely a case of Odin showing up in Idaho, but some local wight showing up and using  The Old Man as an interface point. In this case? I find myself wondering if there is an indigenous piece of knowledge which is being overlooked in the favour of the more accessible data.

We live in a time where the amount of information available far outstrips that of our ancestors, but the living links to localised spirituality tend to be lost in may cases – due to colonialism, monoculture and other such things. If we’re serious about creating and living a life-way which benefits not just us but other beings, we’re going to have to research, and take risks.

We’re going to have to develop a practical theology which takes into account the liminal nature of spiritual, political and ecological interactions. Which means, much like our ancestors encountering a new environment, we should assume nothing, observe, test, and respect what was there before us – proceeding with kindness, generosity and respect, recognising that we may be either  Stranger or Host, and knowing each role has its own sets of responsibilities.  

My transgender sterilization, or why my consent meant nothing.









In 2009 I was sterilized against my will. 

And it didn’t happen the way I expected. I wasn’t strapped to a bed or dragged screaming into an operating room. If that had been the case, at least I would have had an easier time understanding what happened to me. 

Instead it was the slow mounting of circumstances. I was told that without proof of sterilization, I couldn’t change the gender marker on my passport. I learned that without that change I couldn’t find a job. I couldn’t go to a bank, hospital or dentist without being publically humiliated as I was forced to explain the discrepancy on my passport. I couldn’t get through passport control to leave my country. I couldn’t safely go to a bar at night. And since I didn’t get sterilized, doctors doubted my ‘commitment’ to being transgender and refused access to further transition related care. 

Eventually I gave in. I needed to get on with my life. I was done screaming, crying, fighting. I made my appointment, packed up my own bag for a 3 day stay at the hospital and checked myself in for my own sterilization. The one I really did not want. 

When I made my appointment, when I checked myself in, when I went through preparation for surgery, I must have signed over half a dozen consent forms. It seemed that at every turn there was a new form for me to sign saying that I did in fact want this. That I was giving my full informed consent to the procedure. I’ve had other surgeries that did not involve this pile of paper work and looking back, I’m sure all that extra attention to consent was there precisely because I was being forced into this position. I was being sterilized against my will, but I had to put on a performance of consent so the agents within the system could never be held accountable. I do not know if the nurse who handed me my 5th consent form and prepped my for my surgery knew that I really wanted to run out of that hospital. I don’t know if she knew that I felt broken, defeated, hopeless. Sometimes I feel guilty about allowing her to be an unknowing participant in my violation. 

I hated the consent forms more than anything. 

I had the surgery and I went on, as I did before, to campaign against sterilization as a requirement for legal gender recognition. And in 2014 sterilization ceased to be a requirement for legal gender recognition in the Netherlands, where I live. I celebrated that day. I am really happy that the next generation of transgender people will not have to go through the same thing. 

But I never forgot what had happened to me or considered it a finished chapter. I never forgot that consent can be a performance, enforced to cover up a great coercion. I never forgot that the participants in a consent violation, doctors and nurses in my case, may not even be aware of their role because they did not witness the coercion taking place. They did not see how my options were limited until I got to this point. Consent can be a choice made because all the other roads you would choose are blocked. Consent can be the mask violation wears. And I am very skeptical when I see consent hailed as the highest standard for ethical conduct. So there is a ‘yes’, maybe even an eager, informed ‘yes’. But what’s the rest of the story? Where there are those with power and those without it, consent is not a good measure for whether abuse occurs.

I am sure others are at this very moment signing consent forms or saying ‘yes’ to things they really do not want.

why do they make people do this?

Because they believe we can’t be good parents. 

Because they want us to suffer to prove the validity of our identity. 

Because they believe who we are is wrong and they hope to eradicate us.

Thanks for replying. What fake reasons do they give for it? Or do they just straight up and blatantly argue that trans people shouldn’t have children?

Fake reasons doctors give:

  • These hormones will give you cancer if you keep your testes / ovaries (even though there is zero proof that the risk of cancer is higher than in cis people who produce their own hormones)
  • If you were really trans, you’d want to get rid of this part of your body. 
  • This is necessary for the other surgery you want. (often blatantly untrue!)

Truthful reasons doctors give:

  • Hormone therapy for trans women is much more intense and unhealthy if their body is still making testosterone too. (but they often tell that without going into the option of freezing sperm)
  • Hormone therapy for trans men is slightly healthier and slightly more effective after sterilisation. 
  • You won’t get your passport changed if you don’t go through with this surgery. (really, doctors don’t even have to lie, this right here is cruel and dangerous enough to make many trans people go through with the surgery.)

Truthful things doctors don’t tell you:

  • Once you get sterilized, you’ll be dependent on medical hormones to survive. Natural retransition won’t be an option and if at any time the hormone supplies run low (which actually happens, because pharmaceutical companies don’t prioritize that stuff) you’ll run immediate health risks.
  • The (minor) long term health risks that I’ve told you about don’t mean you have to get sterilized now. You could have children within the next decade and then get that sterilization to have a healthier old age. 

Fake reasons politicians use to uphold the law:

  • Pregnant fathers and sperm-providing mothers will upset our entire legal system and will be super confusing for children! Trans existence is too scary for our vulnerable youth and lawyers.

I never forgot that consent can be a performance, enforced to cover up a great coercion…. Consent can be a choice made because all the other roads you would choose are blocked. Consent can be the mask violation wears.

Worth noting: the lie about “keeping this body part will give you cancer” is also a very, very common excuse for pushing surgeries on intersex people, from birth onward. (And other medical methods of trying to control how their bodies develop.)

For the same underlying reason: to protect the heteronormative gender binary. You can’t just let people just walk around breaking the darn thing like that.

They think we’re all wrong, and a lot of the medical protocols for trans people, and even more for intersex people, are focused on trying to eradicate what we are in any way they possibly can.




Pro tip: Yelling at or talking over a customer service agent who is trying to assist you literally makes nothing go faster, it makes nothing easier. It makes you look like just another asshole.

Also, it completely diminishes any chance of them going the “extra mile” to find a solution for ya! I dunno why people don’t get that lmao



The RNC sent me a notice of official census material that was actually a fundraiser for the republican candidates running in the midterms. The paperwork was presented as being an official document required to be filled out by law, but it was patently false. This is corruption. This is meant to deceive people into giving data and money to a political party under the guise of nonpartisan census data. This undermines trust in the census, local government, and the democratic process. This is beyond disgusting, and I’m mailing back the form to tell the RNC how I really feel about their bullshit.

A few years ago, I got an email claiming to be from my (red) state’s revenue department asking that I follow a link to their web form and fill in a bunch of identifying personal information (address, SSN, birthday, etc) in order to receive my state tax return. I immediately went “ha ha what a blatant and hilarious phishing scam” and was going to ignore it, but on a whim I went to the actual department of revenue website to see if they had any alerts up and maybe notify them that they were being impersonated.

What I found instead was a notice on their front page about the exact thing I’d just been emailed about. Apparently their taxpayer database had been hacked, they were getting repeat requests for returns, and some dipshit republican appointee decided the only way to settle it was to hit everyone with a perfect imitation of a phishing scam to filter out the fakers by asking for even more personal information than what had already been in the hacked database.

At the time, I thought the morons didn’t realize they were training citizens to believe in and respond to scams. Seeing this, I wonder if they knew exactly what they were doing.