Countdown to Earth Day 2016: #20 Vote Responsibly

One thing you can do to honor the Earth this Earth Day is to vote responsibly. Voting responsibly means knowing how your elected officials are influenced by big money. Campaign politics tends to focus on issues: where the candidates say they stand. But we all know that politicians will say a lot of things to get elected. And we also know that politics is really driven by campaign contributions. But few of us know how our own elected officials are influenced by money. Here’s how you can find out where your elected officials get their money. [Read more…]

Countdown to Earth Day 2016: #21 Divest from Fossil Fuels

Individual consumers do not have the power to change the system. The system is driven by big money. So the way to change the system is to take away the money. One thing you can do to honor the Earth this Earth Day is to support divestment from fossil fuels. This means demanding that large organizations which we support — like businesses, universities, churches, employers with retirement funds, etc. — no longer invest their money in the fossil fuel industry, and instead invest their money in ecologically responsible ways. [Read more…]

Three Reasons Why Pagans Need a Community Statement on the Environment

What good are words, after all, when what we need is action? Here’s three reasons why I think we need a collective statement on the environment: [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…]

From a Flatland Metaphysics to the Ecology of the Gods

Let’s acknowledge that all of us are talking about gods, but we’re talking about them on different levels. That all of our gods are “real” on some level, and not “real” on other levels. And that all of us are poly/theists on some level, and none of us are poly/theists on other levels. And that none of the levels is better or more right than any of the others. Let’s abandon this one-dimensional flatland metaphysics, and embrace a tropical rainforest ontology. Let’s stop talking like there is only one level to reality or that there is any set of definitions can possibly encompass all of those levels at once. There’s room enough in the ecology of the gods for all of our beliefs and ways of honoring them. [Read more…]