“How Do You Like Them Apples?” On Gods and Metaphors

I have noticed — especially recently — that rigidity of definitions tends to correspond to other forms of rigidity. As a result, hard polytheistic communities seem to be more prone to fracturing than other polytheistic communities. The gods we choose tend to be reflections of ourselves in some ways. If we see the gods as “separate” and “individual,” like billiard balls, then we may well find ourselves smashing against the hard edges of those around us. But if we see the gods as part of us and us as part of them, inseparable and interpenetrating, then we may find ourselves experiencing a deeper sense of communion with one another. [Read more…]

From a Flatland Metaphysics to the Ecology of the Gods

Let’s acknowledge that all of us are talking about gods, but we’re talking about them on different levels. That all of our gods are “real” on some level, and not “real” on other levels. And that all of us are poly/theists on some level, and none of us are poly/theists on other levels. And that none of the levels is better or more right than any of the others. Let’s abandon this one-dimensional flatland metaphysics, and embrace a tropical rainforest ontology. Let’s stop talking like there is only one level to reality or that there is any set of definitions can possibly encompass all of those levels at once. There’s room enough in the ecology of the gods for all of our beliefs and ways of honoring them. [Read more…]

In Religious Matters, Truth Is Overrated

There are things that matter as much as truth. Things like beauty and compassion, a sense of meaning and a feeling of connectedness. And I think concern for the truth needs to be balanced with these things or in order to live a fully human life. [Read more…]

I’ve forgotten why I cared: The irrelevance of (un)belief in the gods

Have you ever asked a question and then, in the course of the ensuring conversation, forgotten why you asked the question in the first place?
I’m feeling like that. I’ve forgotten why I cared whether gods are real. [Read more…]

My Religion is Rooted in the Holy Powers of the Soil

My religion is rooted. In fact, it is a religion of roots … and of tubers and worms and actinobacteria. I am a dirt worshipping Pagan. My gospel is the gospel of compost. [Read more…]

We’re All Appropriating Dead Pagan Cultures

Do those who are attempting to revive a dead culture have the right to claim vicarious victimhood? Culturally all of us are much closer to the perpetrators than to the victims of the cultural crimes that we are claiming to be vicarious victims of. We’re all of us — eclectic Neo-Pagans and polytheistic reconstructionists — in the same boat. And living in a pluralistic society, we have to get used to the idea that others will use our images and our words in ways that are sacred to them, but alien to us.
[Read more…]


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