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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in pagan studies
Why Pagan theology is so unimportant among Pagans

When I first become a Pagan many years ago, I tried to find theological studies of What It All Meant within our literature.  I found many discussions of rituals, magick, and how Witches were correctives to patriarchy. But beyond some brief (and good) discussions in Margot Adler’s Drawing Down the Moon and the Farrars' The Meaning of Witchcraft,  there was almost nothing on the underlying meaning of a Pagan reality.  As I learned more about the broad Pagan tradition I began exploring literature discussing African Diasporic and Native American Pagan religions. Here to, by monotheistic standards the pickings were remarkably thin.

In Brazil I learned most Pagan literature consisted of spell books and details about rituals.  Among the traditional Crow people in Montana, individuals had different interpretations of their practices’ deeper meaning and of the status of figures like Coyote, but no developed theology.  Within my own coven I learned my coven-mates had different beliefs about who the Gods were. Classical Pagan religious writing was rarely sectarian and the major one that could be so described, The Golden Ass, was more an adventure story than a treatise on the Gods.  Pagan cultures were not particularly peaceful, but I know of no adherents to a Pagan religion waging war on those of another for not worshiping the right Gods. Unlike the monotheisms, unity of belief didn’t seem very important in the Pagan world.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • P. Sufenas Virius Lupus
    P. Sufenas Virius Lupus says #
    Can you see the irony in the fact that you've defined Paganism as superlatively permissive, but then have marginalized an entire f
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    Absolutely no irony here at all. None. Beginning in your first paragraph you distort my argument. I wrote Pagan religion is room
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    I will add one more point about thinking theologically about our own experiences as a way to deepen them and perhaps improve on ou
  • Gus diZerega
    Gus diZerega says #
    I also tried to "like" your comment Macha, but it doesn't work either. So thank you!
  • Aline "Macha" O'Brien
    Aline "Macha" O'Brien says #
    Thanks, Gus. I think I'll print this for the men in the San Quentin circle.

Posted by on in Studies Blogs
AAR Annual Meeting - IV

I've promised to post my AAR Annual Meeting reports here, but since they are complex -- at least the way I write them is complex -- they don't adapt well to this blog format.  Therefore, until I manage to submit the final report, I will simply provide a link to a blog where they appear more or less as intended.  Thanks for your understanding.  http://besom.blogspot.com/2015/02/aar-annual-meeting-iv.html

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PaganNewsBeagle Airy Monday Dec 8

In today's Airy Monday post, we've got PaganStudies at the AAR; new classes at Cherry Hill; the New Alexandrian library; buzzards (tracked from space); and a look the Orion mission.

“The AAR annual meeting is a huge intellectual energy infusion, not to mention a social occasion with Pagan Studies scholars from around the world,” reports Chas Clifton, co-chair of AAR’s Contemporary Pagan Studies Group. The Wild Hunt has the rest of the story.

Cherry Hill Pagan seminary announced its slate of upcoming spring classes last week. They include offerings in subjects including Sacred Cycles; Ministering to Military Pagans; Paganism and the Body; and much more. Check the whole list out here.

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PaganNewsBeagle Airy Monday Oct 6

Happy Monday, Beagle fans! Today's Airy Monday post includes news from space -- Hayley's comet, GRACE satellite shows water cycles, building blocks of life in a distant galaxy -- plus an academic Pagan conference calls for papers and a scholarly collection of sources on witchhunting history.

First up: news from SPACE! (How much more Airy can you get?) October's skies will light up with some extra excitement 10 days before Samhain, courtesy of Hayley's Comet. Get the details here.

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PaganNewsBeagle Airy Monday 18

In today's dispatch we include "airy" topics both literal and metaphorical: two stories of NASA space science, and three accounts of Pagan topics in academic circles.

This story is a personal favorite: a team of amateurs and retired scientists have "recaptured" a NASA satellite in the first-ever case of "citizen" astrophysics.

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Posted by on in Studies Blogs
Perspectives on Deity

 

Perhaps central to Neo Pagan practices is the petition of Deity. The crudest of formulas for Neo Pagan ritual would be: create a sacred space, invoke deity, pay homage and/or petition, and dismiss. Though some petitions might be spontaneous and overlook some elements of space or decorum ( i.e. Penczack’s “instant magic”), the desires and force of will are almost always necessarily in conjunction with some form of request to a higher power. Linguistically, one could simply put it as; “to petition”, a subject must have an object to call upon.  Even in the instance of petitioning the self, drawing forth some sort of believed, hidden energy from the depths of the practitioners psyche, the petitioner is calling upon an “other” to change or work with the “self”.

 

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