The Greening of Paganism, Part 1

There is a presumption among many Pagans that Paganism is and always has been a “green” religion. In fact, Oberon Zell has called it “the Green Party at prayer.” But Paganism, like every religion, is a complex mixture of concepts and practices that can be used to either rationalize environmental neglect or encourage ecological harmony. Rather than characterizing Paganism, or any other religion, as “green” or “not green,” we might rather speak about the “greening of Paganism,” an ongoing, never-to-be-complete process. [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…]

The Awkward Adolescence of the Polytheist Movement: Defining Community at the Edges

The contemporary Polytheist movement is in its adolescence, and like every adolescence, it’s awkward and accompanied by a lot of exclamatory rhetoric … but it will be outgrown. Of course, just as there are adolescents who are wise beyond their years and more mature than their parents, there are also parts of the Polytheist movement which are like this. I suspect they are made up of people who are more concerned with cultivating a rich cultural center than with building walls at the boundaries. [Read more…]

Countdown to Earth Day 2016: #16 Save Biodiversity

We are in the middle of the Sixth Great Extinction of animals and plants, the the highest rate of species die-offs since the extinction of the dinosaurs 65 million years ago. Extinction is a natural phenomenon which occurs at a natural rate of about one to five species per year. Scientists estimate we’re now losing species at 1,000 to 10,000 times the the natural rate — literally dozens of species are going extinct every day. Here’s what you can do … [Read more…]

Countdown to Earth Day 2016: #17 Overturn Citizens United

We need regulators and elective representatives who are financially independent of the industries they are supposed to be regulating. The Supreme Court’s holdings in Citizens United (2010) and similar cases have this impossible by allowing corporations to legally buy elections. One thing you can do to honor the Earth this Earth Day is to help get corporate money out of politics. Here’s how … [Read more…]