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...]

The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 4: Sacrifice

It is natural to resist change and to “rage against the dying of the light.” We want to live forever, but this is not our fate as human beings. We must surrender to that finitude which is represented by the dark aspect of the Goddess. Through surrender to our fate, we are transformed, not to endless life, but to a meaningful life in the context of the cosmic cycle of change. [Read more...]

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

“Reborn” by Tomasz Alen Kopera

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...]

Mabon, Mabon-Not

schwabe10

Mabon is a terrible name for the Pagan fall equinox. It’s obscure mythologically and only tangentially related to the season. We should choose a name that both fits the season and the Neopagan mythos associated with the date. The year should turn the Wheel, not the other way around. [Read more...]

“Waiter! There’s some Christianity in my Pagan soup!”

The latest brouhaha in the Pagan blogosphere is Sam Webster’s post “Why You Can’t Worship Jesus Christ and Be Pagan”.  Jason Mankey has written a great response to Webster’s post and I highly recommend it.  I’m not going to repeat all the points that Jason makes, most of which I completely agree with.  Let me [Read More...]

My Yule Sounded Alot Like Christmas Too (Part 2)

3.  Paganism and Christianity In my previous post, I proposed that the reason why there are so few original winter solstice songs for Neopagans and the reason why the winter solstice is treated as a minor holiday by Neopagans is one and the same:  Neopagans have an aversion to all things Christian.  A good example [Read More...]


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