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.
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
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.
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.
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”.