Finding the Pagan Goddess in a Mormon temple

Mormons believe in a Heavenly Mother, but are not allowed to pray to or even speak about her. It’s very strange to have a part of your dogma that is taboo to speak about. And it was painful for me, to have the possibility of communion with the Divine Feminine open and shut to me in one movement. Read more

Neo-Paganism.org is now in the Beta testing phase

Neo-Paganism.org is an attempt to outline a Neo-Paganism that is distinct from both devotional and reconstructionist polytheisms and from traditional esoteric witchcraft. As “Pagan” is used increasingly as an umbrella term, some of us are left without a name to call our own. “Neo-Pagan” was the term originally used for us (coined by Oberon Zell), and like Phaedra Bonewits, I would like to see the term reclaimed. Read more

The Travails of a Pagan in a Dual Faith Household

A Pagan’s First Communion This past Easter, I attended an Easter service at the Valparaiso University Chapel of the Resurrection with some Unitarian friends.  It was a gorgeous service in a stunning venue.  They had a full orchestra, and the house was packed.  And I actually took communion.  It was a Lutheran style service with an open communion, and since technically I was baptized Christian once upon a time, I felt like I could do so without being disrespectful.  In… Read more

Happy Birthday Patheos: My Most Popular Posts

Patheos is 5 years old!  We’re also coming up next month on my one year anniversary at Patheos (and just 3 years blogging in all)! I went back and look to see what were the most popular posts here at Allergic Pagan since moving to Patheos.  I’ve listed the top 6 in reverse order below.  What’s interesting is that each of them have to do with the intersection of my Neo-Paganism with another religion: atheism, Mormonism, Unitarianism, Wicca, and polytheism. … Read more

How James Frazer (inadvertently) saved Easter for Neo-Pagans

Rebirth is something very much on my mind at this time of year, as I notice the the buds appearing on the trees, the birds singing again in the morning, and the wild geese returning north. For this Pagan, Easter is celebration of the parousia, the manifestation of Indestructible Life which shows forth in the warming sun and the rising green grass, as well as in the lifting of my spirit from the shroud of internal winter. So I feel no cognitive dissonance in celebrating the Easter holiday with my Christian wife this year. The point for me isn’t that Jesus was a Dying God, but that the Dying God lives in me. Whether life is in humans, in animals, or in plants, it is always Life, and when the incomprehensible point that is called rebirth comes, it is always Jesus who returns, alike to a tree and to a human being. Read more

New Post at Humanistic Paganism: “The Mystic Demystified: Making theistic language serve the religious naturalist”

I have a new essay which analyzes how a poem by Don Marquis was modified for inclusion in the Unitarian Universalist hymnal. A comparison of poem and the hymn provides an interesting case study in the how religious naturalists use religious language. Read more

In Defense of an Eclectic Pantheon

I think the prohibition against mixing pantheons has less to do with the gods and what they do or do not like and more to do with us.  When we mix pantheons it creates cognitive dissonance, at least for some of us. I think all this talk about the gods being uncomfortable with each other is us projecting our own cognitive dissonance onto them.  If the gods are more than our projections, then they must be beyond such human limitations as xenophobia.  Let’s own up to the real reason for our discomfort. Read more

Five ritualists I’d like to invite to dinner, Part 2: Steven Posch

“Paganisms are not proselytizing religions. We don’t have to proselytize. Our job is to provide for ourselves a vibrant, flexible, and ongoing sustained pagan culture that is so beautiful, so rich with, and so sexy and so desirable that people will want to come to us because they see us and they say, ‘I want what they have.'” — Steven Posch Read more

Love, Earth, Body, Ritual: These are the threads of my emerging spiritual tapestry.

Love, Earth, Body, Ritual: Over the next few months I’ll be writing about how I am attempting to weave these threads together into a meaningful spiritual practice. Read more

The baby is the bathwater: Why I haven’t joined the Unitarian church

It seems to me that, in religious matters, we just can’t throw out the bathwater without throwing out the baby too. Perhaps, in some sense, the baby is the bathwater. Because religion is a human endeavor and we humans are mixed bag, it seems there is no separating the good and the bad — at least not entirely. I wonder if it’s really possible to have the enthusiasm, the passion, and self-transcendence without at least risking dogmatism, literalism, and intolerance. Read more

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