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 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 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...]

The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 2: The Meaning of Death

Neo-Paganism sanctifies our ultimate annihilation and holds that death is no less sacred than life. Indeed, death possesses a holiness which transcends the individual ego’s will toward life. [Read more...]

A Jungian Interpretation of the Goddess

John P. Dourley is my favorite interpreter of Jung.  Author of numerous books on Jung, including A Strategy for a Loss of Faith, The Psyche as Sacrament, and On Behalf of the Mystical Fool: Jung on the Religious Situation. You can read a couple of his essays online: “The Foundational Elements of a Jungian Spirituality” (Scribd) [Read More...]

Exoteric and esoteric ritual

I have never liked discussions about “esoteric” meaning or practice.  “Esoteric” for me is associated with Neoplatonism, Gnosticism, Hermeticism, Kaballah, ceremonial magic (or “magick”), astrology, alchemy, tarot,  spiritualism, and Theosophy, and the philosophies of Jacob Bohme, Franz Mesmer, Emanuel Swedenborg, Helena Blavatsky, Rudolph Steiner, Aleister Crowley, and the “occult” generally: none of which (with the [Read More...]


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