How “Gods Before Politics” Perpetuates Privilege

The myth of non-political Pagan spaces acts as a blindfold for the Pagan community — especially those of us Pagans who are privileged. It perpetuates implicit racism, patriarchy, hetero- and cis-normativity — all of which continue to exist in our Pagan spaces. And if we’re not consciously and actively working to see it and deal with it, then we’re passively helping to sweep it back under the rug. [Read more…]

Fiddling With The Gods While Rome Burns

What Beckett has been describing with increasing clarity over the past several years is a kind of Pagan Pietism, if not a Pagan fundamentalism, which advocates withdrawing from the world, giving up the fight for justice, and cultivating personal piety instead. Beckett delivers this message with the soothing assurance of a village priest — and with many a caveat that he can fall back on when challenged. But his destination is clear, and the place Beckett describes — a place of retreat and resignation — is not a place we Pagans should be following him. [Read more…]

The gods are “like warm apple pie”: The hidden meanings behind our metaphors

I don’t know what is going on with all the apple metaphors. First, John Beckett compared gods to apples.  I made the case that, if the gods are apples, they are a softer kind of apple than John likes.  Tom Swiss, Pat Mosley, and Yvonne Aburrow have all extended the metaphor in unique and entertaining [Read More…]

Sharing Our Stories, Sharing Our Gods

We don’t own our myths … or our gods … or their images. And we shouldn’t act like we do. There will always be other people will understand them differently. The way they understand them may not be sacred to us, but we still have got to respect that they are sacred to them. [Read more…]

American Gods and the Growth of Devotional Polytheism, Part 2: Dilution and Transcendence

American Gods reflected — and probably magnified — a dissatisfaction among many Pagans with popular forms of Paganism. And it offered one possible alternative: literal belief in the gods and devotional forms of worship. Popular Paganism was failing to produce the kind deep religious experiences that many of Pagans craved, and devotional polytheism promised to answer that craving. [Read more…]

American Gods and the Growth of Devotional Polytheism, Part 1: Fantasy and Inspiration

There has always been a close relationship between fantasy and contemporary Paganism, and for the most part, we Pagans are unashamed of it. A work of fiction may open a person up to having a very real experience to which they were not open before. For example, a person might read American Gods and develop an interest in devotional polytheism, from which they proceed to learn more and seek out a direct encounter with the gods. But saying that works of fiction played an important role in the Pagan revival does not deny that it was inspired by powers which transcend the minds of the authors of those works of fiction. [Read more…]


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