Q: Who discovered the Four Gods?
A: The first six gods revealed themselves to Aine Llewellyn. the Darren revealed himself to another Other Person.
Q: Did Aine create the Four Gods?
A: No. We do not consider our gods to be created deities.
Q: How was the Otherfaith created?
A: The Otherfaith began as a concept for a new religious witchcraft tradition. Aine Llewellyn and a small group of Pagan and polytheist teens gathered through youth Pagan websites hosted on ‘Webs’ and began chatting about their desires in a religious tradition. The main group that eventually worked on this would-be religion gathered at a young Pagan website (now defunct) known as ‘Forest of the White Stag’. (It was intended to be adopted as the ‘official’ tradition of the websites that contributed to its creation.) The group included all manner of Pagan-identified teens and young adults, and only a small handful were involved in forming the Otherfaith. Aine was put in charge of directing and creating the new faith. Most have moved on to other religions or specific Pagan tradition, however.
The religious tradition was originally called ‘Daoine Eile’ (which translates as ‘other people’), as some of the people involved were influenced by vague pan-Celtic Pagan writings. This was dropped as the tradition was not Celtic of any kind, though you can see the term in the official website for the Other People - “daoineile.com”. This is because the switch from ‘Daoine Eile’ to ‘Other People’ was solidified after the URL was purchased.
The desires expressed by the main teens forming the Otherfaith were for:
- A distinctly religious tradition
- Urban-friendly rather than rural based
- Reverence of land or house spirits, such as faeries
- Distinctly modern, rather than ancient or revivalist
It was debated whether ancient gods should be put into this forming religion or whether the group should reach out to unknown/new gods. Aine and another polytheist in the group felt uncomfortable co-opting ancient gods, with their own history and culture, into a new religion, and so they decided to focus on possible new deities. This resulted in Aine coming into contact with the Laetha. From there, Aine used divination, dreams, and journaling to attempt to understand this new god and her related deities.
By 2012, the original group had largely fallen apart. Aine continued working with the now-deemed Four Gods. They gradually became more committed to the Four Gods and they started to dominate their life and practice. They began to compile information on the gods to share with others. Originally, Aine wished for those coming into the faith to worship all Four Gods off the bat and to form a strong, intimate community. Through trial and experience, Aine learned this was not realistic and lead to a number of problems (keeping interested people away from the gods, creating unhealthy community dynamics) and dropped those requirements in 2014.
The original concept of the Otherfaith as a religious witchcraft tradition can be seen in the mysticism elements present in it. The Otherfaith is no longer considered a witchcraft tradition, however, but a religious/polytheist one. Those interested in the gods do not need to be educated in mysticism, journeying, or magical schools to worship the Four Gods.
Q: How has the Otherfaith changed over the years?
A: The Otherfaith has largely changed in small ways over the years, but there are some large notable changes we have undergone.
In 2012, we ceased to use the term 'Daoine Eile' for the religion and began using the term 'Other People' and 'Otherfaith'. This was more fitting as we are a US-based religion, formed by an English-speaker. It was then that the Otherfaith properly shed any 'religious witchcraft' identity.
From 2012-2014, when the Otherfaith was being properly introduced to the public, rules for being part of the People included worship of all Four Gods and active participation in the community. This changed in part due to the outing of predator from the Otherfaith community, at which point Aine reconsidered the rules of Otherfaith identity. Currently, anyone who worships any of the Four Gods and wishes to can identify as an Other Person. They can participate in the wider Otherfaith community or not, but they are not required to participate to claim the Other People's identity.
The only hard rule in the Otherfaith is our stance against abuse and predators. We can't keep individuals from identifying as Other People or worshiping our gods, but we will always speak out against predators and abusive behavior.
Q: Who is Aine Llewellyn, and what is their role in the Otherfaith?
A: Aine ‘Annie’ Llewellyn is a bigender polytheist and writer, and they are the founder of the Otherfaith. They began working with the Four Gods in late 2010 and began writing seriously about the Four Gods and the Otherfaith in 2012. Aine does not consider herself the creator of the Four Gods, but someone whom they revealed themselves to.
Aine was driven to create the Otherfaith out of a desire for a modern but deeply religious polytheist tradition. They were mystically inclined and reached out to the spirits to see if there were gods interested in cultivating such a faith. The first of the Four Gods responded and Aine began putting together what would become the Otherfaith.
The information Aine put forward to the public about the Four Gods and the Otherfaith is considered ‘pre-established canon’ as it was presented as basic truths to the religion. Aine gathered this information through otherworld journeys (entered into through trance and eventually trance writing), dreams, and experimental mythic stories. Aine came from a Pagan background in which they grew up learning these techniques and began teaching themselves through books and experimenting in their early teens. They have been aware of spirits and involved with them since childhood, which they blog about in their ‘Hawthorne & Heather’ column on ‘of the Other People’. They are also a diviner, a skill that they utilize to discern information about the spirits.
The majority of the information Aine received in journeys and journaling was related to myths about the gods - their stories, their successes and failings, their great loves and trials. The practices Aine built around worshiping the Four Gods were occasionally touched with divine inspiration but largely came from what felt correct and appropriate - such as setting up an offering shrine. Aine has difficultly with hard, practical applications of the gods and spirits, and this has impacted how much liturgy and ritualistic practice is currently established in the Otherfaith. Adapting Aine’s information on the gods and spirits into more practical applications is something the People are very much in need of.
Aine writes extensively on the Other People and our gods, and they are the default ‘source’ of information. They do not, however, have ownership of the Four Gods, nor does one have to go through them to worship the Four Gods. Anyone can step up and begin worshiping and writing about the Four Gods.
They are the mystic leader of the Other People at this time, being the most knowledgeable about the spirits and how to contact them.
Aine does consider it their role to make sure the Otherfaith provides the best atmosphere for people to connect with the Four Gods. This involves keeping predators and abusive behavior out of the community. This is their only gate-keeping role.