It Should Have Happened on a Mountaintop: My Winding Path to Environmental Activism (Part 7/10)

I guess we don’t get to choose the time and place of our epiphanies. [Read more…]

Countdown to Earth Day 2016: #3 Face Your Death

We instinctively turn away from this truth. And we engage in myriad strategies, both individually and collectively, to distract ourselves from this reality. Conspicuous consumption is one of the many examples of what Ernest Becker calls “immortality projects,” the ways in which we “rage against the dying of the light.” Ironically, this consumption only hastens our deaths — both individually (obesity, drug addiction, etc.) and collectively (climate change, war over resources, etc.). One of the ways you can honor the Earth this Earth Day is to face your own death. [Read more…]

The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 8: Exoteric and Esoteric Ritual

Neo-Pagan ritual may function as a celebration of and an experience of connection with nature; as a celebration of and acceptance of change in our own lives; as an honoring and welcoming of parts of ourselves that have been neglected or rejected; and an experience of the loss of the sense of self and of union with the transcendent. Neo-Pagan ritual can focus on any one of these functions, or it can do more than one. All of them are important. Different people may experience the same ritual differently. [Read more…]

The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 7: The Mother and the Son

The Neo-Pagan Goddess may be called Mother, because she is the eternal Source, the continuous principle of Life which gives rise to life in its myriad forms. The Goddess does not die; she is death … and life. The Goddess gives birth to the God, who is manifest life, and then receives him back into the tomb that is her womb. The God is born lives, dies and is born again. He must accept death, falling back into the Source, like a seed returning to the earth, while the Goddess endures to bring forth new forms of life from the inexhaustible store that is her Being. [Read more…]

The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 6: Descent to the Underworld

The psychological process which is symbolized by Joseph Campbell’s Hero’s Journey is not a one time event, for while each “death” and subsequent rebirth results in an expansion of consciousness, this expansion is always necessarily partial, for the creativity of the unconscious source is inexhaustible. Therefore, the Hero’s Journey is never complete. [Read more…]

The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 5: The Dying God

Scholars have criticized Jame Frazer’s Golden Bough, arguing that he glossed over significant differences in order to find his archetypal Dying God. But regardless of whether ancient pagan gods fit the archetype, Frazer’s theory has had a profound influence on contemporary Neo-Paganism. Frazer was a significant influence on Jane Ellen Harrison, Robert Graves, Dion Fortune, D.H. Lawrence, and other writers, who were themselves influential on Neo-Paganism. [Read more…]


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