Common Terms

'Otherfaith' is the name of the religion revering the Four+ Gods. Originally, the religion was called 'the faith of the Other People'. It was eventually shortened to Otherfaith for ease. The religion is polytheistic and animist with threads of witchcraft. It is sometimes referred to, on this website and by the People, as the 'faith.
'Other People' refers to those who participate in the Otherfaith. The term can also refer to fairies, which were sometimes called the 'other folk'. The Otherfaith emphasizes connection to the spirits and working in tune with the otherworldly. For this reason, practitioners are called Other People.
The 'Others' are the gods and spirits in the 'faith. We call ourselves the 'Other People' as practitioners of the Otherfaith aim to understand and integrate these spirits into our lives and beings.

Spirits in the Otherfaith often have associations and ties to our gods. Some can be placed into groups known as the Greater, Younger, or Smaller Spirits. This triad of spirits serve specific purposes within the religion and impact human-god relationships. Many other spirits do not fit into the triad but establish their own unique relationships with the gods and ourselves.

By its loosest definition paganism is any non-Judaic, Christian, or Muslim religion. In modern usage pagan often refers to a wide group of religions. These are typically polytheist or pantheist nature focused religious or magical traditions but also include atheist traditions as well. Belief may or may not be considered important dependent on the specific community. Paganism also refers to the ancient religions of Rome, Greece, Scandinavia, and so on.

Whether one is a pagan often comes down to self-identification above all else. The Otherfaith may be considered a pagan religion. Officially, the spokesperson does not hold a stance either way. Individual Other People may identify as they feel appropriate. The Otherfaith is a polytheist and magical tradition.

Polytheism is the belief and or worship of many gods. It is part of many pagan traditions. It is also part of many non-Western religions as well as being common in ancient Western paganisms.

A polytheist may believe the gods to be distinct beings with their own consciousness while another polytheist may see them as personified forces of nature. Other polytheists may see the gods comparably to archetypes. To fully understand what a person means when they call themselves a polytheist further inquiry is necessary. It is best not to make assumptions about an individual's specific beliefs. Similar to how 'monotheist' lacks detail, so too does 'polytheist'.

The Otherfaith is a polytheist religion but does not seek to define polytheism beyond the dictionary term. It is expected that someone attending Otherfaith ceremonies will respect the gods and spirits appropriately. Other People extend this same hospitality to the traditions they take part in. One key component of Otherfaith belief is in the agency and integrity of the gods and spirits; whether a polytheist believes the gods to be forces of nature or more concrete persons, the Other People treat the spirits as distinct persons with their own preferences and personalities.

Animism is the belief that non-human entities possess souls and/or spirits. This typically extends to plants and animals but may extend to landscapes as well. In the Otherfaith, animism includes human-created objects such as phones, laptops, and buildings. The Other People revere both spirits of place and spirits residing in place. As example, an Other Person may revere a specific tree as its own spirit as well as any spirits living in the tree.

The agency and personhood of plants, animals, and places is considered important in the Otherfaith. This is in part due to the animist belief informing the religion. This impacts daily life as well as religious life for the People.

The Other People refer to our gods as new deities. New gods means deities that are not found in folklore or history. They are unattested to. It can also mean they are recently born. Examples of such gods are the Other People's Four+ Gods and the Tetrad++ written about by P. Sufenas Virius Lupus.
'Spirit work' refers to spiritual or magical practice that cultivates a relationship with spirits. This relationship may be one of subservience of the part of the human to the spirits. Spirit work is not accurate in relation to magical practices that emphasize humans controlling or manipulating the spirits around them. The term appears to have grown out of pagan and polytheist communities that emphasized direct experience with the gods and spirits.

Within the Otherfaith, 'spirit work' refers to the work with the spirits rather than strictly internal work. It may tie into another part of the Other People's practice, 'energy work', but this is dependent on the practitioner. Spirit work is more devotional and religious based; energy work is more magical and witchcraft-oriented.

'Energy work' refers to spiritual or magical practice that manipulates the energy of our own spiritual body or outside energetic forces. It is a common part of many modern Pagan religions and witchcraft traditions. It can be connected to spirit work but the terms are not interchangeable.

Within the Otherfaith, 'energy work' refers specifically to manipulating our own energies and utilizing magical practices rather than manipulating spirits to do our bidding.

The spirit body refers to the energetic centers within and surrounding our physical bodies. Specific traditions teach different types of energetic centers and their associations. The Other People's spirit body is composed of three parts: the tail or legs, heart and wings, and crown. Mystics and mages within the Otherfaith must train to use their spirit body while journeying in the otherworld as well as when performing magic.
Pop culture refers to popular culture in a specific community, typically referring to mass media-distributed culture aimed at young people. Culture can be understood as specific ideas and attitudes of a group. Pop culture is typically seen as television, movies, bestselling books, comics, sports, and politics.

The Otherfaith embraces much of modern life, including pop culture. The Other People focus on literature, comics, and creative media as a way to develop our relationships with the gods and spirits. Media reflects on ourselves and can show us unexpected concepts relating to the gods. We may compare a god to a comic book character, for example, and in doing so find new aspects of a deity. It is important, however, to be critical of the media we are consuming, especially so with pop culture.

Fanfiction, also known as 'transformative work', is a creative work, typically a written story, featuring characters or settings from an already existing media or franchise. It combines 'fan' with 'fiction', as most such stories are written by fans of the series their story is placed in. Fanfiction has been especially prevalent since the 1960's, thanks in part to the passionate fandom surrounding Star Trek. Fanfiction does have a longer history, however. It can be argued that the Aeneid is a work of fanfiction, as it is based off of Homer's works, and Dante's Inferno is also considered fanfiction by some.

Fanfiction is seen as the province of women or feminine individuals and is sometimes denigrated because of this. As fanfiction becomes better understood and fanfiction creators speak out about their craft this stigma is fading. As with any literary tradition, fanfiction has a complex and intersectional history.

The Other People tend to refer to stories about the gods and spirits as fanfiction rather than myths or legends. It is up to the individual Person how they refer to their specific work, but it should be understood that all Other People are co-creating our understanding of the gods through myriad fanfiction written about them.