All Our Relations: Pagans and the more-than-human world.

For aware Pagans the Sacred encompasses us all, rivers and mountains, oceans and deserts, grasses and trees, fish and fungi, birds and animals. Understanding the implications of what this means and how to experience it first hand involves our growing individually and as a community well beyond the limits of this world-pathic civilization. All Our Relations exists to help fertilize this transition.

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Gus diZerega

Gus diZerega

Gus diZerega is a Third Degree Elder in Gardnerian Wicca. He studied closely with Timothy White who later founded Shaman’s Drum magazine, and also studied Brazilian Umbanda  for six years under Antonio Costa e Silva.Dr. diZerega has published widely on the social sciences in the academic press as well as on spirituality.  His second book Pagans and Christians: The Personal Spiritual Experience won the Best Nonfiction of 2001 award from  The Coalition of Visionary Resources.  His third, coauthored with Philip Johnson, is Beyond the Burning Times: A Pagan and a Christian in Dialogue. His art frequently appeared in Shaman’s Drum, and the ecological journals Wild Earth, and The Trumpeter.DiZerega combines a formal academic training in Political Science with decades of work in Wicca and shamanic healing.His newest book, Faultlines: The Culture War and the Return of the Divine Feminine, received a 'silver' award by the Association of Independent Publishers for 2014. 

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

About a week ago I posted an essay on Patheos as a Pagan contribution to a series of short pieces by people of many traditions as to the value of religion today. I really like it, and now that Patheos has had it a week, I want to make it available to others, and so I have posted a version here

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I have just returned from a Women and the Land  conference held in Point Reyes, California.  It was a wonderful series of panels, whose presenters were almost all women authors: poets, essayists, and fiction and non fiction writers. Given my interest in how the feminine and ecology fit together  as a unified theme in needed cultural changes that might yet save our nihilistic Western culture, I expected to enjoy it. And I did, far more than I expected.

             That said, this column and the next will deal with an error I heard there, and with its solution. I think the error runs through the thinking of many women and men whose hearts are in the right place. And its solution is easy once we recognize it and take the time to digest its implications. It is also very relevant to Pagans.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Thank you Connie. BB
  • Connie Lazenby
    Connie Lazenby says #
    I just loved this. Being very connected to nature and the spirit of a place, i have different rituals that end with the same resul

Posted by on in Culture Blogs

As with every year, this year’s Pantheacon offered too rich a menu of workshops and performances for any of us to see all we wanted. This year I was lucky. Several of my favorite Pagan singers (and wonderful people as well) offered back-to-back performances, and I was able to see them all. Ruth Barrett and Holly Tannen  were prominent Pagan minstrels and bards when I first entered our community back in 1984.

    b2ap3_thumbnail_Ruth-serious.jpg b2ap3_thumbnail_Holly-Tannen.jpg

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Anti-choice advocates claim the ethical high ground. They continually use language such as “pro-life,” call a fetus a “baby,” and proclaim their devotion to the well-being of the unborn.  They contrast this with the heartlessness of ‘choice.’ Even when we disagree it is tempting to treat them as acting in good faith.

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  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    I looked at your page. Nicely done, good art. I have no problem at all with people Pagan or otherwise who are "pro-life" so long
  • ProLifePagan
    ProLifePagan says #
    Not wishing to argue. Just reply and provide you with a opportunity to understand you may have some flaws in your arguements regar

 

There is a quite different argument against abortion I have heard from several Pagan women.  I am more sympathetic to it than to the usual “fetus is human” claim that I demolished in my previous post.   Even so, I think it ultimately fails, though it does complicate a woman’s decision.

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One of the first things the new Republican majority has done in Congress is to escalate the battle against legal abortion.  Republicans have long been seeking the world’s most restrictive law on abortion. Today, in the midst of what most people would regard as far more pressing issues, Republican leadership is seeking to further restrict women’s access in ways that ultimately alienated even many Republican women members of Congress  The reasons for their fanaticism go deeper than the reasons anti-women’s rights groups give for opposing abortion.  They go to the root of who they are.

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  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    You are going round and round. In your previous comment you in many ways granted my point that what made something morally worthw
  • Wayne
    Wayne says #
    No, what I pointed out was how your arguments talk in circles, and how they were purely philosophical. You talk about how a child
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Are you able to understand English? I have always said the case for not allowing abortions for late term fetuses except for the w
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Thank you for doing the best you can. But your reply indicates you did not understand the column. The opening statement of mine
  • Wayne
    Wayne says #
    Anti-women's rights? Yes, that's the typical propaganda that people like you spread against those who dare to say that it's not ri

A version of this appeared a day ago in Patheos. I think the points I am making are important enough to put this both places.

     Violence in the name of a monotheistic religion has again captured the world’s attention. This time it was committed  in Islam’s name.  In response many columnists and politicians who should know better claim something supposedly unique to Islam is responsible.  This malign misdiagnosis gets two central points utterly wrong.
     First, there are over one billion Muslims in the world, and the great majority are not violent.  Second, while there has been considerable violence by some Muslims in the name of their religion, the majority of their victims have been other Muslims. In this respect Islam is not unusual.  Historically a great many victims of monotheistic violence have been those most other people would regard as practicing the same religion.
For mostly historical reasons, most religious violence today is by those claiming to be Muslims.  But Islam has no monopoly here.  Christianity has spilled plenty of blood in its past. The end of its worst violence did not come as a result of any advances in Christian morality or spiritual understanding. Relative peace arose from mutual exhaustion, when the various factions realized they could never kill all the other side.
     True religious tolerance considered as a matter of principle had to wait the coming of the Enlightenment, the rise of deism, and the triumph of the American Revolution. Deism is not monotheism, which is why so many Christian leaders of that time called them atheists.

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  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    You're welcome!
  • Ted Czukor
    Ted Czukor says #
    Gus - Thank you for this incredibly comprehensive study of the different Gods of Christianity! I agree that Mysticism is the best

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