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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in pagan-cowan relations

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Confessions of a Pagan Triumphalist

Yes, I'm a pagan triumphalist.

I believe that the ways of Abraham are an anomaly in the history of human religion.

I believe that eventually we will simply reabsorb them, as Hinduism reabsorbed Buddhism.

I believe that their envisioned apocalypses predict nothing but their own eventual demise.

I believe that everyone is born pagan. Anything else, you have to be made into.

I believe that paganism is intrinsic to humanity.

I believe that (unlike the rest) paganism is natural.

I believe that paganism is inherent.

I believe that paganism is instinctive.

I believe that paganism grows from the Earth like a tree.

I believe that paganism inheres in existence.

I believe that, where there is intelligent life, there is—and will always be—paganism.

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What Do You Say When a Non-Pagan Wishes You 'Good Samhain'?

If you're out of the broom closet, and it hasn't happened to you yet, it will.

A non-pagan wishes you “Good Samhain”* (or Beltane, or Yule).

What do you say in response?

It's an act of hospitality to wish someone joy of their holiday. When that holiday is not one's own, the act becomes even more gracious, an act of grith-weaving. (Grith is an old name for “peace between communities,” as distinguished from frith, which means “peace within a community.”) It says: I know you. It says: I accept you for who you are. It says: I care enough to keep informed.

When someone wishes you Good Samhain (or Beltane, or Yule), the automatic instinct is to return the greeting, but of course when the well-wisher is not pagan, it's bootless to wish her joy of a holiday that she doesn't celebrate. It also denies the difference that she has just so graciously acknowledged.

So what do you say in response to a non-pagan "Good Samhain"?

Best, as always, is to answer graciousness with graciousness, hospitality with hospitality, while at the same time acknowledging difference.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The God You Rode In On

My friend Sirius is Kemetic. I call him my “effete shaveling.” He calls me his “vile Asiatic.” We get along just fine.

Sirius works at a hospital. He's completely out to his co-workers there.

The hospital chaplain began to tease him.

“How's Ra workin' for you?” he'd say.

Me, I was furious when I heard about this. Issues of professionalism aside: well, just consider.

Ra: the Sun, that massive and ineffable star of heartbreaking beauty and profundity around which our lives literally revolve, without which we would not, and could not, even exist.

Then there's the chaplain's god: some dead Jewish guy who's basically (let's be frank) a fictional character.

Really, I ask you: just who should be making fun of whom here?

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Kile Martz
    Kile Martz says #
    Ra, like the other real gods is dutiful and supportive. He comes up each day to warm the earth, unconcerned about want or need. T
  • Murphy Pizza
    Murphy Pizza says #
    I love it!!
NY Times Crossword References Book of Shadows

Really, I just about swallowed my gum.

I had just started yesterday's New York Times crossword puzzle—by Jeff Chen, bless him—when the clue for 58 Across—as these things do—leapt out and slapped me upside the head.

58. Ones reading the Book of Shadows.

A massive grin on my face, I inked in: Wiccans.

Step by step, the journey is made. That the New York Times should expect the average educated reader not only to know of Wicca, but to recognize the name of the book most associated with it, must be acknowledged as one such step.

So thanks and kudos to you, Jeff Chen, puzzle-master inclusive.

One appreciates the gesture, of course, while acknowledging the (rather endearing, actually) misapprehensions. No Wiccan that I know would describe herself as a “reader of the Book of Shadows.”

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    I'm frequently struck by just how closely crossword puzzles act as barometers of the zeitgeist. So we're in, and we're in because
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Haha! I do lots of crossword puzzles in the hope that it staves off dementia. I've encountered such words and Wiccan and Pagan,

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Danger of Thinking in Pagan

the guests had one month fewer

they do not speak the language of nature

(Saami poet Nils-Aslak Valkeapää)

 

Och, maybe I've just gone too far into the mists.

Cowans just don't make sense any more.

I find that I can't even bring myself to write (or say) “God”—with a capital G, like a name—as cowans do, without the quotation marks. The way that they use the word is wholly a misuse, a misconstrual, of an old word, a fine word, our word, which never meant, nor means, nor can mean anything even vaguely resembling what they mean by it.

That's the problem of thinking in Pagan. Once you start to do it, it makes so much sense that, in time, nothing else does.

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • M.T. Noah
    M.T. Noah says #
    i can't say i'm a decades long person in this fold. but i can't say i'm not. the 1/2 trained grandchild of someone who also cann
An Open Letter to the Editor of 'City Pages'

Dear Editor,

This concerning your coverage of Paganicon 2018 (“The Twin Cities—AKA Paganistan—Will Host a World Gathering of Witches”).

In the vocabulary of modern Witches, the word cowan (rhymes with plowin') refers to a non-Witch. It is not necessarily a derogatory term.

Not necessarily.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
Thirteen Surprising Facts About Cowans

Cowans are not all alike.

There are Protestant cowans, Shi'ite cowans, Hasidic cowans....

Cowans are not necessarily anti-pagan.

Some cowans actually like pagans.

Cowans don't all look alike.

Next time you're with a group of cowans, take a really close look. You'll be amazed!

Cowanism is not a single religion.

In fact, there are many different forms of cowanism.

Many cowans find the term “neo-cowan” deeply offensive.

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