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Subscribe to this list via RSS Blog posts tagged in new paganisms

 

 

Guilty as charged.

Yes, I do occasionally post on non-pagan topics—Justin Trudeau's butt, for example.

(But is Justin Trudeau's butt a non-pagan topic? ”If you want to understand the gods,” said Socrates, “look at excellence.” ) Yes, I do occasionally get grief about it, mainly from myself.

Please find attached my pathetic collection of excuses, many of them mutually-contradictory.

You can draw your own conclusions.

 

Just because it doesn't have a pentagram on it, doesn't mean it isn't pagan.

I like to think that I'm writing about the Deep Paganism. Just because it doesn't look pagan on the surface, doesn't necessarily mean that there's no pagan there.

To the pagan, all things are pagan.

Sunsets, recycling, milk. Stupas, church architecture, the Qur'an. Beads, shoveling snow, men's bodies.

To the pagan eye, there's pagan everywhere.

Maintaining a healthy paganism means having outside interests.

To the Deeply Pagan, our paganism touches on everything that we do, think, and say.

Still, the healthiest relationships are always the ones in which all parties involved keep up their outside interests.

I may be a Paganism Bore, but so long as I can maintain interest in at least some non-pagan topics, I'm not completely hopeless.

Well, so I like to tell myself. You be the judge.

It's a test.

Aha! You think this is non-pagan? Look more deeply, my friend!

Everybody needs a break now and then.

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Golden Calf Cartoon (Page 1) - Line.17QQ.com

 

In some ways, the new paganisms and Evangelicalism have a lot in common: they're brash, impetuous, young religions, inexperienced, with poor impulse control and a strong Do-It-Yourself ethic.

So in these Latter Days, as Evangelicalism shows its true colors, what lessons can we learn from our successful, but callow, neighbors?

 

Be for, not against.

In the old days, I always say, Christians used to fight about whether the Spirit proceeded from the Father, or from the Father and the Son, or about whether or not the Son was equal to the Father: substantive issues.

Now they fight about gay sex.

Evangelicalism started out in the early “20th” century as a protest movement against modernity. A hundred years on, they're still reacting.

When you let yourself be defined by what you hate, rather than what you love, you become—by definition—a monster.

Q.E.D.

 

Embrace history.

Having largely rejected the historic Christianities, Evangelicalism's time-depth is shallow. For the Evangelical, there are two important times: Bible Times and Now.

A people without a history is a people without a memory, without identity. Lacking the lessons and precedents that history cannot fail to provide, you make the same mistakes again and again and again.

 

Support the arts.

Just look at all the great art, music, and architecture that Evangelicalism has produced.

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Recent Comments - Show all comments
  • Steven Posch
    Steven Posch says #
    When I image-searched "trump golden idol," I was astounded at how many different images came up, absolutely astounded. Evangelica
  • Jamie
    Jamie says #
    Mr. Posch, Such good points. All so very true. I especially like the one about choosing to defining ourselves positively, in ter

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
'In the Old Days...'

“In the old days....”

Lots of New Pagan narratives begin this way: implicitly, if nothing else. Back in Pagan Days, you see, we used to....

Then follows the story of what we did or thought or hoped for, back when Pagandom extended far.

In the old days isn't good anthropology. Good anthropology requires specifics of time and place. In northern Staffordshire during the 1850s.....

But in the old days isn't anthropology: it's myth. Back in the Pagan Dreamtime, in the days before May Eve, the young bucks would spend time in the woods building May bowers. That way, you'd have someplace (relatively) private to bring your sweetheart back to after the bonfire revels.

Or so they say.

Don't mistake in the old days for history, although it may be that too. When pagans talk about the Old Days, we're not really talking about how it was.

What we're really talking about is how it's going to be.

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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The New Old Ways

I sit on the foot of the bed, singing the hymn to the rising Sun.

I'm an early riser, he's not. There are worse ways to rouse from sleep than to strains of the sacred.

His eyelids flicker open as I finish.

“Lift up your legs,” I say.

First were the Old Ways.

Then came the New Ways.

Then came the Old New Ways.

Now we have the New Old Ways.

He grins and gets out of bed.

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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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Posted by on in Culture Blogs
The Other Side of Night

What did they think, those old pagans, as they saw the Old Ways that they loved falling to the ground around them?

What did they feel?

Did they hate? Did they hope? Did they despair?

They fought, we know that they did. They hid. They dissembled.

They draped the Old in the cloak of the New.

They laid their love carefully away, bidding Earth hold it close, until a new day should come.

Did they, looking into darkness, hope for another dawn?

Did they, with eyes of hope, see to the other side of night?

Did they see us?

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Recent comment in this post - Show all comments
  • Dr. Mays
    Dr. Mays says #
    Dear Stephen, Your meditation is beautiful, and I am reminded that this is precisely what Indigenous peoples of the Americas have

Posted by on in Culture Blogs
On Wicca as a Gateway Paganism

Some of us have the very great good fortune to fall in love for the first time, marry, and live (more or less) happily thereafter.

Many of us (most of us, I suspect) are not so lucky.

No, we crawl off into a corner to pout and lick our wounds.

And then (assuming no real abuse was involved) with time we do manage to heal and go out to meet other loves and try again. And sometimes, then, with luck and perseverance we do manage to find that happily-thereafter person.

It seems to me that we can then spend the rest of our lives feeling angry, hurt, and resentful that that first lover wasn't everything that we needed her to be.

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