A Lakeside Hearth: Looking Inwards

There are numerous conflicts in modern Pagan practices. When they do spill over, the conversation around them ranges from intelligent discourse to vitriolic demagoguery. Then, the topics that cause the worst blow-ups are banned from discussion and a kind of artificial peace is established; a façade of peace over a temporarily calmed sea of strong opinions, sectarianism, and conflicting ideologies. [Read more…]

Star Made Witch: Living with Honor by Emma Restal Orr

O-Books offered up several titles for columnists to review this month and I selected Living with Honor: On Pagan Ethics by Emma Restall Orr. I was excited about reading this text because of the focus on animism and ethics–topics important to my spirituality. [Read more…]

Spear of Athena: Whose Sun is it Anyway?

My eyes dart over the message board, and I’m met with a question: we are aware of many cultures and many gods, so how do we reconcile that with only having one sun? [Read more…]

The Zen Pagan: What Does It Mean For the Gods to Exist?

To answer the question “Do the deities exist?”, we need to answer two questions, just two trivial little matters: 1) What is a god? 2) What does it mean to exist? [Read more…]

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Wyrd Words: Pagan Life Lessons – Sacrifice

How can we focus on our life goals when life itself seems bound and determined to prevent us from ever having time to devote to them? It’s easy to lose sight of our hopes and dreams when our schedules seem to be overflowing with distractions. [Read more…]

Wyrd Words: Pagan Life Lessons – Hope

The old ways are just as much about personal revelations as they are interpersonal relations. We are more than just a community, we are the products of the lessons and values that we hold dear. We keep the old stories alive for a reason, and how those stories affect each of us is an important part of who we are. To explore this, I’d like to introduce our newest series! [Read more…]

Naturalistic Traditions: Were the ancient Skeptics naturalistic?

Thus far in this series, we’ve found the world’s first Naturalistic Pagans in the Greek Ionians, Atomists, and Epicureans, with potentially-naturalistic cousins in the Cynics and Stoics, and a generally conducive atmosphere among the Greek populace. Now we come to a tradition with strong naturalistic leanings: the ancient Skeptics. Examining this complex tradition reveals another potentially naturalistic tradition, and teaches us something important about the definition of naturalism. [Read more…]

Naturalistic Traditions: Were the Cynics and Stoics naturalistic?

“Live according to nature.” This was the motto of not one but two ancient Greek traditions: the Cynics and Stoics. Were these traditions naturalistic? After exploring their philosophies and concepts of nature, we’ll have a look at their religious practices to see if they can rightly be counted as ancient Naturalistic Pagans. [Read more…]

Naturalistic Traditions: Were Epicurus and the atomists naturalistic?

If the universe is nothing but atoms, as modern physics proclaims, what place can there be for gods? None, some might say. Surprisingly, this was not the conclusion of the earliest atomists. Ancient Greek naturalists, far from rejecting religion, sought ways to understand religion in naturalistic terms. In short, they became Naturalistic Pagans. [Read more…]

Naturalistic Traditions: Were the Classical Greeks naturalistic?

Last time, we discovered the world’s oldest Naturalistic Pagans* in the Ionian philosophers of ancient Greece. Yet, they comprised no more than a handful of intellectuals in a world full of theists. What was the effect of naturalism on the rest of Greece as it developed in the Classical period? Did it spread through the culture or remain isolated? [Read more…]


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