• Home
    Home This is where you can find all the blog posts throughout the site.
  • Tags
    Tags Displays a list of tags that have been used in the blog.
  • Bloggers
    Bloggers Search for your favorite blogger from this site.
  • Login
    Login Login form
Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in Pagan

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_mummy-boxes.jpg
Most of us who find spiritual roots and sources in ancient Egypt are sorely aggrieved by the damage being done to ancient sites, relics and museums during this time of political turmoil.  Osireion joined groups around the country (world?) a few weeks ago to magically cool the region down.  We drew a map of Egypt on papyrus and embellished it with hieroglyphs for peace and other related ideas.  We poured over it cool rose-scented water and it now resides in a block of ice in my freezer.

But so much damage has already been done.  Recently, I dared to think that perhaps some good did come, after all, out of the 19th and early 20th centuries pillaging of Egyptian artifacts for European and American museums and private collections.  And yet, now those collections may be the safest place for this priceless cultural heritage.  So many people who invested heavily in -name-inscribed sarcophagi, stelae, and tombs, were forgotten for hundreds of years until Egyptology descended in a frenzy of Egyptophilia.  Now every good amateur Egyptologist knows the names of Khaemwaset or Tuya or even Tutankhamen (a king most didn't believe existed until Howard Carter's discovery).  Perhaps this is how their magic is working itself out in our time.

Meanwhile, I'm relieved that things are actually quieter in modern Egypt for the moment. The focus has turned to Syria, another cradle of our spiritual traditions.  May Maat soon return balance to the good people of every land, and may Set thwart the isfet, the chaos, being sown by those whose minds are clouded by anger and fear.

Last modified on
1
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    So Mote It Be.

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
The knife edge of the equinox

Now we are diving deep into the cool waters of the West, into autumn’s light.  The equinox is just around the corner, and the new moon of September passed.  This year we will be blessed by a nearly full moon over the equinox, which is at 21:44 on Sunday, 22 September (where I live in the UK).  The tipping point is near, the balance will shift, and we will enter into the fading times of restful thought, of dreaming in the dark.

...
Last modified on
3
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Lovely reminders, thank you.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_unasbc2_20130906-021346_1.pngThe oldest religious texts in the world, the Pyramid Texts, are found in the Old Kingdom Pyramid of Unas; they are dated to perhaps 2400 BCE, though they surely were in use for long before that.  The sophisticated cosmology and deeply-layered poetry must have been in development and then use for many generations before it was recorded in the tomb of the 5th Dynasty king.

Though I have read two different English translations several times, I still feel that I've wandered into a magical cave when I read PT passages.  Ritual voices seem to whisper all around me.  I can almost smell the incense, smell the roasted bull and guttering oil lamps and floral garlands that are being laid on the sarcophagus before it is sealed for eternity. 

The Book of Going Forth By Day (Book of the Dead) and Coffin Texts gained great popularity in later centuries, but the Pyramid Texts were solely for the use of the king upon his or her death (yes, there were at least two other female rulers, in addition to Hatshepsut).  In new Egyptian spirituality, we identify with the ruler's journey of transformation, taking on the role of the pharaoh as s/he becomes first an Osiris, then Ra, then an imperishable star.

...
Last modified on
0

Posted by on in Studies Blogs

I apologize if this article is triggery to any of you, as it represents a departure from some of the more light-hearted blog posts I've been writing.  It's not the norm for this blog, but I felt it needed to be said.

So, posted a marvelous blog article on whether one's paganism is really very transgender/genderqueer friendly.  I'm sharing it here.

http://witchesandpagans.com/Pagan-Culture-Blogs/is-your-paganism-really-that-accepting-of-the-ts-tg-community.html

...
Last modified on
2
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    I agree the soul has no gender. But patriarchy spiritulaity is based on gender. That is why many women latched on to women's spir
  • Per
    Per says #
    I have also had a similar experience. I dont understand gender in spiritual work, my spirit dont have a gendar. I dont understand
  • Constance Tippett Chandler
    Constance Tippett Chandler says #
    I went to First PantheaCon and didn't go back until I had a booth, but, I was there the first year of the blowup. I'm probably old

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

All summer long it has rained in South Carolina, a state plagued with drought since I moved here in 1986. When it’s sunny, the humidity is smothering. At the beginning of August, Osireion held a public ceremony to mark Wep Renpet, the opening of the year and flooding of the Nile. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_WepRenpet2013.jpg

In the beautiful woodland park beside the river where we hold such occasions, a local news station joined us as part of a story about minority religions (at the anniversary of the Sikh gurdwara shootings in 2012). A number of non-Osireion friends joined us, despite the heat and humidity; we sang, danced (not too much in the heat) and visited an altar with a large bowl filled with rosewater. Someone had the inspiration this year to add some ice to the water, making it a delicious sensual experience. 

Some of the rain has eased up, though we continue to have a Gulf weather systema1sx2_Thumbnail1_Group1.jpg stalled over the Southeast. The nearby river is high, swollen and full of mud, though ours is red mud, while the life-giving silt of Kem was black. Even though here in my state the growing season has passed its peak, this is a time of new beginnings for many of us.

The respite, vacations, festivals and laziness of summer now lead to fall semesters, the end-of-year holidays, and many projects taken up with new or renewed zeal. It’s easy to relate to the time of flooding in ancient Egypt because we are also enriched and enlivened. Even the name of the season, Akhet, reminds us of fresh starts since it is also the word for the horizon where the rising sun appears.

...
Last modified on
0

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs
Lammas Mysteries

Taking a walk this morning, out in the sunshine, my soul expanding as I free it into the blue skies studding with soft clouds, I hear the sounds of the combine harvesters working in the fields, taking in the wheat.  I breathe deeply, and give thanks to the Goddess for what she provides, and also think of ways in which I too can give back.

...
Last modified on
2
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Joanna van der Hoeven
    Joanna van der Hoeven says #
    Hi Anne - you're most welcome, and blessings of Lammastide. x
  • Anne Newkirk Niven
    Anne Newkirk Niven says #
    Joanna -- when I moved to western Oregon, I encountered wheat fields for the first time. (They surround our town, Forest Grove, al

When I comprehended my darkness, a truly magnificent night

came over me and my dream plunged me into the depths of the

millennia, and from it my phoenix ascended.

...
Last modified on
0
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Laura Smith
    Laura Smith says #
    Great posting. I am a follower of Jung and Campbell in my practice as an Archetypal Dreamwork Analyst. I also blog about my own pe
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    Thanks Laura. I'll definitely come over and check out your work.
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Very interesting food for thought. Thanks again for sharing it with us!
Extraordinary Creeping Paganism...we need more creep in the Old North State

Bless you, Ms. Trotta. It is such a lovely usable phrase.

Thought I'd check in and let you all know we're grounding, centering, focusing our wills down here in the sinking ship that is North Carolina. We know the country is watching us, wondering how much farther we can fall.

Much farther, I'm afraid. 

...
Last modified on
7

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

In your standard Pagan wheel of the year arrangement, harvest happens in the autumn. We tend to celebrate it at the autumn equinox, when many regular Pagan teachings encourage you to reflect on wider ideas of harvest in your own life. However, if you grow soft fruit or salad vegetables, the odds are that you’ve been harvesting since some time in June.

 

The exact timing of harvests varies according to the weather. There needs to have been enough rain to fatten things up, and enough sun to bring about the necessary chemical changes. The shift of colour in berries and grains that shows ripening, is a chemical shift of sugars, hence the radical difference in taste between an apple in early summer and late autumn. Some fruits and roots do not ripen until frosts have acted on them to make changes in the chemistry.

...
Last modified on
4
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Thank you for your words on harvest and harvesting - it is indeed a lovely thought to think of the mini cycles of planting and har

Posted by on in SageWoman Blogs

While reading Dianne Sylvan's latest novel this past March, I had a flash of insight that knocked me out of her Shadow World and into the timeless, space-less realm of what Ellen Dugan calls “just knowing.” The scene in the book was of a young Witch drawing down the moon – pulling the Goddess into herself. I told my empty bedroom, “She's not pulling the Goddess into her. She's awakening the spark of divinity within herself!” Cool! I thought. Then I went back into the reading.

When I first came home to the Pagan path eleven years ago, I felt very uncomfortable with the Goddess and God concepts. The Wiccan Lady and Lord felt extremely foreign and abstract to me. I was raised Buddhist, and as a teen had gone through a period of absolutely despising religion altogether, especially the Judeo-Christian religions, whom I held accountable for committing torture, rape, murder, and genocide in the name of their Lord.

I had an especially hard time choosing my magickal name, because the only name that felt right was a Goddess name, and I did not feel worthy of naming myself after a Goddess. After a couple months of struggle, I took the name Rhiannon, because I wanted to internalize her ability to overcome unfair burdens and punishments and become vindicated.

...
Last modified on
3
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Lizann Bassham
    Lizann Bassham says #
    Lovely - thanks for sharing this bit of your journey. We do indeed contain all that is holy within each molecule of our whirling
  • Ashley Rae
    Ashley Rae says #
    Thank you, Lizann!
  • Ashling Kelly
    Ashling Kelly says #
    What a powerful homecoming for you....thanks for sharing such a personal story.

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

[Note: This is a revised version of an earlier essay that appeared on the Humanistic Paganism blog.]

A couple of posts ago, I wrote about ritual creation as a form of Jungian Pagan spiritual practice.  I described ritual as a kind of dance between the conscious and unconscious, in which the conscious mind gives form to unconscious energy or potentialities.  Jung often used the metaphor of water to describe the vivifying energies of the unconscious.  This water, wrote Jung, “comes from deep down in the mountain [the unconscious] and runs along secret ways before it reaches daylight [consciousness].”  The place where it springs forth is marked by a symbol.  This symbol merely marks the experience of the archetype, and it should not be confused with the experience (the water) itself or the archetype (the source of the water).

b2ap3_thumbnail_waterfall.jpg

...
Last modified on
0

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Knowing You're Right

More drama has surfaced within wider Pagan community within recent weeks, particularly within the blogosphere between “polytheists” and “humanists”. I put those terms in quotes to blanket a lot of people under them, and because after all I’ve read regarding either camp, I’m not sure I understand what those terms really mean anymore.

Last modified on
9
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Peter Beckley
    Peter Beckley says #
    Sorry it took me so longer to reply, thank you all for your comments. I'm not sure what the path ahead looks like, but one thing s
  • aought
    aought says #
    I've always thought of myself as Heathen. Pagan works too, though I do get tired of explaining that I do not consider myself a Wit
  • aought
    aought says #
    It is sad to see the Pagan community aping the Abrahamic sects. Per the dictionary definition, Pagan or Heathen refers to those wh

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

I am the incomprehensible silence
and the idea often brought to mind.
I am the voice sounding throughout the world
and the word appearing everywhere.
I am the sounding of my name,
For I am knowledge and ignorance.
I am shame and bravery.
I am without shame; I am full of shame.
I am power and I am trepidation.
I am conflict and peace.
Listen to me,
For I am the scandalous and magnificent one.

Excerpted from Thunder, Perfect Mind, trans. by George W. MacRae

b2ap3_thumbnail_isnefertari.jpgIn the silence of the night the waters were troubled.  We did not know that far to the south, in the headwaters of the great river, rains swelled the flow, sending the fertile black earth our way.  What we did know was that the star of Sopdet, whom we know as Aset (Isis), had disappeared from the sky for weeks now.  Each evening the priests watched for it to reappear at the horizon, the signal that Aset was weeping, mourning the loss of her husband Asar (Osiris).  After dark there is no way to see if a crocodile lies in wait or a hyena quietly stalks you coming home late.  Except in the cities, the silence here is vast, incomprehensible.  Against that quiet, the change in the water showed itself in little lappings higher up the bank, a swath of new green advancing up the shores on both sides.

The priests told us that Aset’s tears were flowing, rousing Hapy from his sleep among the rocks of the headwaters.  I do not understand these things.  Like the Lady, I had suffered loss, the death of my husband at the hands of an evildoer.  My grief was unabatable; like hers, my tears seemed a limitless flood.  Then I found myself carrying my own Heru, pregnant with my own shining Horus boy, and hope soothed my tears.  By the time of planting, I could hardly stoop to the water’s edge with my jar, and as the first harvest came in, my son saw the light of Ra.

The mother is so many things – fearful, yet brave, cunning, but also confused, wandering in search of Asar’s body.  I am not pharaoh in his House of a Million Years, nor am I a priest who can explain these things.  But I see that she is like me, or maybe I am like her.  Maybe we are the same, though she is eternal.  When I am cowed by shame or ignorance, I remember that she found her power, found a way to her heart’s desire.  When the waters rise each season of Akhet, I remember that even while she wept, Aset brought new life to the world.  I smile when I walk back to refill my jar, knowing it is her lovely tears, her life I’m bringing back home with me.

Last modified on
2
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Very nice.

There has been a lot of very heated discussion lately about Paganism and Polytheism, with some people suggestion that there are certain practices or beliefs that one should hold in order to be able to call themselves a polytheist or pagan. Modern paganism being as diverse as it is, this has taken a lot of people by surprise, and accusations and name calling is happening from all corners.

I know this, and this only: I am a member of an organization that acknowledges "We are people who normally would not mix." (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 17) But here we are--representing all sections of this country, all political, economic, and social backgrounds.  And-here's where I want you to pay attention--all religious backgrounds.

Twelve Step Programs are  spiritual programs.  It is demanded of us that we live a spiritual way of life.  It is also a WE program.  If you look at the Twelve Steps, you will see that "I" do not do the steps.  "We" do the steps.  So here we are, people of all religious backgrounds, beliefs and practices, being told we are meant to live a spiritual way of life, and that we are supposed to do it together, and that "love and tolerance of others is our code"? (Alcoholics Anonymous, p. 84)

...
Last modified on
9
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Apuleius Platonicus
    Apuleius Platonicus says #
    I think it's important for people to know that there are 12-step groups where you don't have to recite the Lord's Prayer or in any
  • Hope M.
    Hope M. says #
    No 12 Step program requires you to conform to Christian religious beliefs and practices. Even groups that make us of Christian pra
  • Stifyn Emrys
    Stifyn Emrys says #
    It has never been my impression that serving as a role model had anything to do with 12-step programs. My understanding is that yo

 

If you want to hide the truth from the uninitiated, keep it in plain sight. Even reveal it to them, openly and honestly! They will not believe you.

 

...
Last modified on
4
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Thank you for your comment, Greybeard! I appreciate the contact.
  • Greybeard
    Greybeard says #
    You are right that conspiracy theorists don't want the truth. Another good example is all the "Bermuda Triangle" hype. The truth

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

b2ap3_thumbnail_stela1-100dpi.jpgThe ancient, sacred city of Abydos hosted an annual ritual drama about the mysteries of Osiris.  Along a processional way the festival crowd re-enacted the abduction and murder of Osiris by his brother Set, and inside the temples, priests conducted uber-holy rites away from the public eye.  Every good Egyptian hoped to go on pilgrimage to Abydos at least once in her life. Nearly as good was to have a tablet (called a stela, plural is stelae) set up on the processional route stating your name, titles, a statement of offering (and usually an offering picture) and a request for passers-by to stop and recite the offering prayer on behalf of the deceased.  Many thousands of stelae have been found in Abydos, which was also the burial site of predynastic and First and Second Dynasty kings. 

b2ap3_thumbnail_stela2.pngIn Abydos Osiris is most often known by the name of a jackal-headed god who came from that locale and eventually took on Asar’s identity, Khenti-amentu, “first of the Westerners.”  Any mention of the west was an oblique reference to having died (like the sun, which sets in the west).  Stelae like the ones at Abydos came to be used at lots of pilgrimage sites, as tomb markers (just like our modern tombstones), and even inside burial chambers.  The picture usually shows the deceased standing in front of an offering table piled with bread, beer, geese, the leg of a bull, alabaster and lengths of linen.  A typical inscription, known as an “offering formula” among Egyptologists, might say something like:

"An offering of thousands of bread, beer, meat, fowl, alabaster and lengths of linen, and all good, pure and beautiful things, which Pashed gives to the great god (neter aa) Khenti-amentu, first among those at Abdju, for the soul of Pashed."

b2ap3_thumbnail_stela4.jpgLast week I was worrying a little about how the whole world get to enjoy ancient Egyptian heritage because moderns have basically robbed thousands of graves.  Then I thought about how the Egyptians counted on their descendants and/or priests to perform rituals, “say the prayer,” for them in perpetuity.  Obviously, that system broke down in the same centuries that brought Christianity then Islam to Kemet.  And yet, here we are all these centuries later, reading and admiring the stelae, contemplating the original owner, pondering what his or her life was like.  If you are a student of hieroglyphs like me, you find yourself reciting the offering formulas over and over again in lessons.

To me, that is part of the power and mystery of hieroglyphs, that somehow they have emerged from a time almost before memory to continue to remember the ancestors and honor their wishes.  I wish I knew more about people like Pashed, but it’s clear that what he wanted most after his death was to be remembered as constant in his devotion to Osiris.  May I be at least in part as dutiful in my respect for those who came before me.

Last modified on
2

Posted by on in Studies Blogs


    Considering the articles I've read lately about whether or not pop culture icons and fluffy bunnies are appropriate idols for worship, and whether or not to bow to them, I'd like to address the reverence I feel for Classical music and the composers of that art.  At the beginning of May, I sang in a concert of music by Beethoven.  This concert may have changed my life.  Towards peace. 

Last modified on
2
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Taylor Ellwood
    Taylor Ellwood says #
    Well said. And I agree...what we do is ultimately up to each person and whatever path calls to them.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Meditations on Hávamál, 19-22

Here's the latest round of translations and commentary from my ongoing examination of the gnomic verses of Hávamál, the Sayings of the High One. While many of the verses deal with the magic of the Norse, many of the lines simply offer sage advice on best behaviour, especially when one travels.

19.
Haldi-t maðr á keri,
drekki þó at hófi mjöð,
mæli þarft eða þegi,
ókynnis þess
vár þik engi maðr,
at þú gangir snemma at sofa.

20.
Gráðugr halr,
nema geðs viti,
etr sér aldrtrega;
oft fær hlægis,
er með horskum kemr,
manni heimskum magi.

21.
Hjarðir þat vitu,
nær þær heim skulu,
ok ganga þá af grasi;
en ósviðr maðr
kann ævagi
síns of mál maga.

22.
Vesall maðr
ok illa skapi
hlær at hvívetna;
hittki hann veit,
er hann vita þyrfti,
at hann er-a vamma vanr.

 

...
Last modified on
3

Posted by on in Paths Blogs

For the men of Ireland have again followed gentlidecht as it was at first before belief, before Patrick’s advent, save only that they have not worshipped idols. For the heathen had a lie and a good word, and this existeth not today. And every evil which the heathen used to do is done at this time in the land of Ériu, save only that the Irish do not worship idols. Howbeit they perpetrate wounding and theft and adultery and parricides and manslaughter, and the wrecking of churches and clerics, covetousness and perjury and lies and false judgment, and destruction of God’s church, draidecht, and gentlidecht, and dealing in charms, philters and enchantments and fidlanna.

—“Adomnán’s Second Vision” (c. 1096 CE), §15-16

The text above is from Whitley Stokes’ edition and translation of “Adomnán’s Second Vision,” which was published in 1891; few scholars, let alone everyday Pagans or polytheists, have paid much attention to it since then. Many modern Celtic Reconstructionist groups have been founded, and have created Irish and other Celtic neologisms as names for their polytheistic practices; but here is a thoroughly medieval Irish word for what the Christians understood to be the Paganism of ancient and medieval Ireland, still going strong (if their reports in this 11th-century text are to be given credence) after centuries of post-Patrician conversion: Gentlidecht. Stokes translates the word as, rather amusingly from a modern Pagan perspective, “heathenism” or “heathenry”…if only the Ásatrúars knew!

...
Last modified on
5
Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Chris Vermeers
    Chris Vermeers says #
    Also, the modern Irish spelling is gintlíocht.

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The meaning of Pagan

I have written much about my feelings of the word "pagan" on my primary religious blog, Of Thespiae.  I've written about how the use of the word in the pagan community has become so loose that it's meaningless for all practical purposes.  I've written about how, in spite of regular protests from the pagan community, the implicit "positive definition" of "paganism" ("positive definition" meaning "defining what something is"; whereas "negative definitions" define by what a word is not) is incredibly Eurocentric [2].  I've even mentioned how the "negative definition" of the word "pagan" isn't necessarily true, as the tradition of Christopaganism certainly makes it hard to say where the Christianity ends and the paganism begins.  I've written about the incredibly secular climate of the pagan community in current culture.

The word "pagan" is not one I've been terribly fond of.  Early on in my spiritual journey, earliest possible point being around either 1989 (when a nun at my old Catholic school gave me a copy of D'Aulaire's Book of Greek Myths and, I swear, I felt touched by Apollon in ways that Jesus and El Shaddai just never really could) or 1993 (when I first really started exploring ostensibly "pagan" paths), the word "pagan" was practically interchangeable with "Wiccan" or "witchcraft", or so it seemed  when trying to find any books on the topic; there was a minority of books about Heathenry, Celtic polytheism, and neo-Druidry, but there was no uncertainty to the dominance of witchcraft-based paganism, and frankly, that only barely interested me, and not enough to really look too deeply into it.  For a very brief time in high school, I practised a hodgepodge "Celtic reconstruction" of my own design, but I eschewed the word "pagan" because this didn't fit the common idea that most people had of "pagans" in the modern days, which was pretty much synonymous with "witchcraft", even if one knew that religious witchcraft wasn't as phantasmagorical as scenes from The Craft or even Practical Magic, they didn't really conceptualise it as simply "worshipping the gods of the British Isles", which is what I did, then.  Toward the end of high school, I just gave up on my self-made Panceltic religion, cos most of those gods barely seemed "real" to me, and I joined the Church of Satan briefly, which is adamantly not pagan, in its self-definition, and though most members describe Satanism under the definition of Anton LaVey as "atheistic", further reading into LaVey's later essays, and not to mention certain interpretations of passages in The Satanic Bible and The Satanic Rituals, suggest that he himself was better defined as Maltheistic (a word of earliest use in print traced to Usenet in 1985, and defining one who ostensibly believes in one or more gods, but deems It/(S)He/Them as unfit for human worship; see LaVey's "God of the Assholes", which appears in Satan Speaks! ©1997, for the most clear evidence of LaVey's maltheistic, rather than atheistic beliefs).  I was never a good atheist, somewhere in my head, I always believed in the gods of Hellas, and I was never maltheistic, either, because even if some deities don't want, need, or even deserve my worship, there are others that do, and by the time I was twenty-two, I basically outgrew the need for LaVey's church that I briefly had. But pagan?  To see if that word fit, I put a toe in the on-line pagan community for the first time in six years when I was about twenty-four, and at that time, I'd discovered a vibrant and thriving community of Hellenic reconstructionists, most of whom had mixed feelings about the word "pagan".  I pretty much only interacted with other recons for about another two or three years, and though I forget what ultimately teased me out, I had never really fully embraced "pagan" as a part of my religious identity.

Now, I say "religious identity".  This is important.  Though there are certainly a handful of people who describe their religion as simply "pagan" or "paganism", there is no single, positively-defined religion called "paganism".  The word "pagan" is generally assumed to be a collection of religions, generally of European or Mediterranean (including the Near and Middle east and Northern Africa, specifically countried along the coast of the Mediterranean Sea) origin, that either a) pre-date Christianity, b) attempt to reconstruct or revive said, or c) are newer religions that are at least somewhat influenced or inspired by said (like Wicca or Feri).  Prior Christianity, none of the local religions of Europe and the Mediterranean called themselves "pagan"; indeed, one's religion was usually just a part of the local lifestyle and was, at most, simply the way of worshipping the local gods --the ancient Greek dialects don't even have a word for "religion", the closest being "ta hiera", which is often translated as "the sacred" or "sacred things". "Pagan" is a thoroughly modern religious identity; similarly, "gay" is a thoroughly modern sexual identity, as in ancient times, most cultures didn't compartmentalise human sexuality with terms like "heterosexual, bisexual, and homosexual" and sexuality certainly had less to do with the gender ofthe person one was attracted to than it had to do with the activities one engaged their sexual partners with.  These identities certainly exist, but they lose all meaning outside a modern context, and even within that context, are subject to change in their subtlety of meaning due to many factors, including time, location, implications by the speaker, and inference of the listener.

...
Last modified on
3
Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    I'm not saying Jesus is an archetype to Christians (from an Eric perspective). I'm saying Jesus is *archetypal* to Christians. (
  • John Halstead
    John Halstead says #
    I meant "etic" not Eric -- damn spellcheck.
  • Ruadhán J McElroy
    Ruadhán J McElroy says #
    You mean autocorrect. Spellcheck just highlights or underlines the misspelled words.

Additional information