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Our Lady of Discord

Who is this scary-looking Goddess? Only the prettiest of them all: Eris Discordia.

So, how did I find Eris? Well, let's just say, She found me. It was like I was sitting all alone, and then suddenly I wasn't. I actually don't remember what it was like to be without Her.

Eris is, in Her own way, like a lover. She walks with you along the beaches of life, and hops on one foot when you have rough times. Of course, if you expect Her to carry you, you're in for a rude awakening.

My Sophomore year at Ohio State, I picked up the Illuminatus! Trilogy and read through that. Then I picked up Schrodinger's Cat. After that it was the Principia Discordia. By now I've read most of the corpus of Discordian Literature that's in print (by major presses), and a substantial (though by no means even close to all) amount of the online stuff.

Anyway, somewhere along the lines, I started to see the fnords. I was doing a report on the Inchon landing for my Korean War class one night, and the 23's just started popping up. There were so many surrounding that one important event in history that I started to wonder about it all (I actually remember quite clearly that I was on page 23 of a book on Inchon when I realized this).

That was probably the point where I was hooked. Eris had me, and She wasn't letting go.

For a while I denied Eris as a Goddess. I told myself that I don't believe in Greek Gods (I still don't believe in the rest of them), and that I really didn't want to be a Discordian (which is still somewhat true), nor did I want Eris' influence in my life (which is very true).

But, despite it all, Eris got into my brain. Discordian slogans started popping up in my own conversations, I received a Pope Card, and then came the Vision.

Most Discordians describe their experiences with Eris as occurring in this world, or in some parallel dimension where things are just enough out of wack to seem skewed. Most of them also describe being high on marijuana or other substances during these visions. At the time, I was of a completely clear mind. My Vision doesn't actually include sight, but I heard her very clearly one night, as I sat alone in my room, sober and awake. I heard the words, "There is no Goddess but Goddess, and I am your Goddess, and I tell you that you are free."

Those words bound me to her forever.

Another way I like to put it, that kinda sums up the entire experience, is like this:

One day, Eris walked up to me. She turned me upside down and started shaking me.
"Okay!  Okay, I believe in you!" I shouted.
"Finally!" She said.
She dropped me and ran off. She got my lunch money, and I got a new religion.
Maybe She got the better end of the deal?
Heck, just the other day, I was walking to my office and saw a sign on a door down the hall from mine. It read: "The 4:30 touch the elephant has been moved to room 437." If that isn't a little bit of Eris, I don't know what is.

Eris respects my own way of life, which is nice. I think I have a different relationship with Her than I do with Esus, or than others do with their Patrons. When a Goddess (or God) calls you to Them, They're accepting you for who you are. They don't expect you to change to fit Their schedule, or even Their rules. At least, that's my experience with Eris. I have made some changes because I respect Her and Her "ownership" of me, but there are places She'd like me to change where I refuse.

So, what's Eris like to have as a Patron?  It makes for some interesting liturgical questions, like, "How do you deal with a Patron who doesn't like ADF liturgy?" and, "How do you get Eris to bless a meal?"

Well, you just have to accept some things with a Patron like Eris. Eris is jealous, quick tempered, and strong-willed. In a good way, honest.

Eris expects a minor form of proselytizing, though you don't have to actually win converts, just avoid conversion yourself. It's a kind of offensive defense that you're expected to understand if you really are a devotee of Our Lady.

In all, it's quite a ride. She understands that it was not my choice to take Her as a Patron, and that I didn't believe in Her for a long time. She also understands that I would like to keep Esus as my main Patron, and I think that (after some grumbling) She has decided that this is probably for the best. Who wants a Druid who doesn't smoke pot anyway?

In reality, though, She always gives me something to think about, and never lets me down when I'm having trouble. I don't have the right (or the stupidity!) to expect anything from Her, though the occasional favour is always fine to ask.

In ADF rites, I always make sure to invite Her in some way. She may not be keen on the liturgy, but to slight her is something no one but an idiot would do. Typically, I do this at the Outdwellers' offering, since 6th Night always invited the Outdwellers and then appeased them with beer or some other offering. Most often, I do this silently, since there are many people who really don't take kindly to Eris being called in any ritual they're in. I say these people are no fun.

I do know that not all Groves appease the Outdwellers. If I'm ever visiting a Grove that ignores or (Gods forbid!) threatens the Outdwellers, then I would have to call Eris into the circle as a Patron Deity. There's really no other way around it. That's why I like to appease them, and I think that's why the other members of Three Cranes Protogrove, ADF, are so willing to let me appease them, rather than ignore them or threaten them.

View my process to finding Esus!

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