“How Do You Like Them Apples?” On Gods and Metaphors

I have noticed — especially recently — that rigidity of definitions tends to correspond to other forms of rigidity. As a result, hard polytheistic communities seem to be more prone to fracturing than other polytheistic communities. The gods we choose tend to be reflections of ourselves in some ways. If we see the gods as “separate” and “individual,” like billiard balls, then we may well find ourselves smashing against the hard edges of those around us. But if we see the gods as part of us and us as part of them, inseparable and interpenetrating, then we may find ourselves experiencing a deeper sense of communion with one another. [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…]

Want To Be A Pagan?: “Climb a Fucking Tree!”

“If you want to worship nature, you don’t need a sunwheel, pentacle, or a goddess to do so – go out and climb a fucking tree, sit in its branches, learn ecology, listen to the wind rustling the leaves through the branches, watch the squirrels, strip naked and swim in the river as the sun sets. Then do whatever it takes to stop those fuckers who wanna cut that tree cause all they see is dollar signs. You don’t need a European god or goddess to tell you life is sacred.” [Read more…]

“Less Christian Than Thou”: Neo-Paganism and Polytheism Beyond the Christian Divide

Neo-Pagans and Polytheists — have fundamentally different issues. Polytheism and Neo-Paganism don’t just represent different answers to the same question, they represent different answers to different questions. I think much of the conflict between our two communities might arise from the failure to appreciate that each group is trying to be the answer to a different question. It’s become platitudinous to say that none of us have all the answers. But it is equally true that none of us have all the questions. If we can’t appreciate one another’s answers, perhaps we should begin by trying to appreciate each other’s questions. [Read more…]

Someone said something stupid on the internet … so I went to my altar.

Yesterday, I read a blog post that tested my recent commitment to abstain from Internet drama. My habit would be to respond to their post a post of my own, to break it all down line by line, and then hit back with a rebuttal. Instead, I went to my altar. [Read more…]

How Pagan Spaces Become Toxic to Non-Theistic Pagans (Part 2)

I present this as an example of the kind of animosity and vitriol that non-theistic Pagans can encounter in nominally open Pagan spaces. [Read more…]