Syncretic Electric: Looking at our History (Part 3) – Religious Expression in the U.S.A.

American Paganism, I assert, expresses the generic religious trend of opposition and difference in a particularly bold way. The average American Pagan is free both of overarching authority and of rigorous dogma. The prevalence of eclecticism in American Paganism further demonstrates the freedom of religious expressions available. [Read more…]

Syncretic Electric: Looking at our History (Part 2) – Nostalgia and Literature

Nostalgia is a powerful force in the Modern Pagan movement, in no small part because of the impact of literature on its formation. Often, when lacking real memory of the past, we have turned to literature to help us reconstruct and recreate a history that we have never really known. [Read more…]

Syncretic Electric: Looking at Our History (Part 1)

Our history as Pagans is bound up in a larger history, and in fact has been made possible by other, larger movements that changed Western culture as a whole. It is necessary that we understand how Paganism once more became a viable way of experiencing the world. [Read more…]

Syncretic Electric: Community is More Than You

When you call yourself Pagan, you are claiming membership in that community and are making yourself beholden to it. Regardless of what Paganism represents to you, it extends beyond you, and you must be aware of the responsibilities that claiming membership to such a community entails. [Read more…]

Syncretic Electric: Building Echo Chambers Instead of Communities

How do we relate to the idea of community when we do not have to worry about the repercussions of our actions? When we can simply insulate ourselves in groups of like-minded people, when we can build up little virtual echo chambers, how do we know that we are actually engaging with the community, and not just forming high school cliques? [Read more…]

Syncretic Electric: A Brief Examination of Cultural Appropriation

We, as Pagans, need to be aware of the cultural baggage that we carry with us from our presence in the larger American cultural community. Simply because we are Pagan does not mean that we have entirely removed ourselves from the effects of the larger culture. We need to be aware of the sources of our practices as well as their original contexts and meanings. [Read more…]

Syncretic Electric: Figuring Out the Rules

Julian Betkowski introduces his new column “Syncretic Electric” and his path, Neoclassical Syncretism. [Read more…]