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...]

Love, Earth, Body, Ritual: These are the threads of my emerging spiritual tapestry.

Celtic cross tapestry in my bedroom

Love, Earth, Body, Ritual: Over the next few months I’ll be writing about how I am attempting to weave these threads together into a meaningful spiritual practice. [Read more...]

“A mighty host respond”: Pagan unity through diversity

Three mountains diverged in the sky, and I—I took one of them and you took the other. And that has made all the difference.

Is it possible to build a religious community around the idea of celebrating difference? Is it possible that what makes us “Pagan” is not what we have in common, but the ways we are different? Perhaps being “Pagan” means nothing more (and nothing less) than being one those who have gathered around this word, “Pagan”, gathered together to celebrate not a single meaning, but to celebrate the diversity of what that word means to us. [Read more...]

Wiccanate Privilege Discussion at Pantheacon

“Wiccanate” is a term coined by Johnny Rapture, and it refers to American Neo-Pagan theological ideas and liturgical forms common to large public Pagan gatherings and rituals, which are derived from Wicca, but are perceived to be “generic” or “universal” to Paganism. “Wiccanate privilege” is a phrase that has been going round in polytheist circles recently. It refers to the ways in which Wicca-inspired ritual and theology are assumed to be normative for Paganism as a whole. [Read more...]

The Year in Review: Blog posts that should have gotten more attention (Part 1)

Instead of writing about our controversies, I want to highlight some posts that I read this year that I think should have gotten much more attention than they did — posts that are personal and practical, about communing with nature, with our gods, with each other, and with our Deep Selves. [Read more...]

Being the Allergic Pagan: My lover’s quarrel with the world

Egyptian Stele of Qadesh

The irony of being a Pagan with seasonal allergies symbolizes an essential conflict at the core of my psyche, a conflict between the desire for communion with nature on the one hand and the desire to transcend nature on the other. [Read more...]

Straight talk about the Pagan identity crisis

You have got to check out B.T. Newberg’s newest post at Pagan Naturally, “The ‘Pagan’ question: Beyond belief-blindness“.  He writes about the chronic debate about the meaning of Pagan, and states “in no uncertain terms what’s really going on: It’s about kicking people out” (emphasis added).  I think he’s right.  B.T. goes on to reveal [Read More...]

Your One-Stop-Shop for Pagan-Polytheist Controversy (Updated 1-26-13)

Star Foster recently added her name to the growing list of Polytheists who have dropped the Pagan label.  [It looks like her post has now been taken down.]   (It wasn’t too long ago she was telling everyone how much she loved being Wiccan.) Jason Mankey says there’s no running from the Pagan label (There’s [Read More...]

The dirty words we use to describe each other

Some time ago, I heard a story on NPR’s “This American Life”, about a guy who lost a friend when the friend found out that he had voted for Obama. The friend had called him a “socialist”. Of course, he didn’t think of himself as a socialist, but was left feeling that he had been [Read More...]

Pantheacon 2012 (Part 2): Three ways of identifying as Pagan

“Am I Pagan?”  Oh my god!  Am I really writing about this again?  This happens every time I have any significant contact with the Pagan community.  Maybe that should tell me something. This Pantheacon had a panel discussion about the question of Pagan identity.  The moderator started the discussion by describing the Drew Jacob controversy [Read More...]