Pagan Studies

Steel is tested and shaped on the anvil. Here, we try every Pagan idea on the anvil of history, hammered by insight and intellect, to forge a Pagan Future.

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Last call at the Arkadian Anvil

Gratitude and humility are the defining feelings at the end of this stage of the journey. This is the last Arkadian Anvil post on Witches & Pagans. Special thanks to Anne Newkirk Niven who invited me to this channel. My own work is shifting. I must consolidate my public writing for a time and so I must say good bye to this wonderful audience.

It has been a pleasure and an honor to discuss our Way with you. I am deeply grateful for the attention you have given me. Your input and feedback has been instrumental to my ongoing cogitations about how to explain/express our religion.

What we produced was a broad outline of *a* systematic theology for Pagans. The main failing of any such project is that the standard understanding of the job of systematic theology is to produce a clear and definitive set of doctrines for a religious community. For Pagans, like the Hindus, this is impossible. Like determining the location of an electron, we can only say that our theological positions occur within a general range of views, but there are be significant outliers as well. Probability is not a normal tool of theology, but for Pagans surely a range of ideas and the tolerance of ambiguity is our norm. Likewise, as our many-threaded Way is a part of a critique of Modernism, so our framing won’t always fit the Parmenidean laws of thought: Are the Gods one, two, many; forces or persons; psychological structures, wholly external, or principles of nature? However contradictory it may be, our theology must be able to give a resounding “Yes!” to all of these and yet be not devoid of reason or critical thought.

You, dear readers, have been helpful in tracing out the ranges of Pagan religious thought. I hope to publish a thorough work on this in the near future. Your contributions here will make it a better work. Thank you.

Next, I will be continuing my public writing on The Wild Hunt starting May 24th and carrying on every 4th Saturday. The working title is the Arkadian Observer, and I hope to provide historical and theological commentary on contemporary Pagan issues. Hope to see you there…

There is something truly Pagan, something unique and new in our world, that is what we are. We have a unique position in history and I believe we have a special role to play in shaping a successful future for all that lives on this world. Let us build that Pagan Future.

But for now, Thank you and Goodbye!

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Sam Webster is a Pagan Mage, one of the very few who is also a Master of Divinity, and is also currently a Doctoral candidate in History at the University of Bristol, UK, under Prof. Ronald Hutton. He is an initiate of Wiccan, Druidic, Buddhist, Hindu and Masonic traditions and an Adept of the Golden Dawn founding the Open Source Order of the Golden Dawn  in 2001. His work has been published in a number of journals such as Green Egg and Gnosis, and 2010 saw his first book, Tantric Thelema, establishing the publishing house Concrescent Press. Sam lives in the San Francisco East Bay and serves the Pagan community principally as a priest of Hermes.

Comments

  • Jamie
    Jamie Wednesday, 09 April 2014

    Mr. Webster,

    You are the man! I always looked forward to your posts here, and will avidly read your contributions to "The Wild Hunt".

    Internet Pagan communities are chock full of people who spout wisdom McNuggets of fortune cookie philosophy, in my opinion. I'm privileged to have actually benefitted from reading some of your stuff.

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