The Neo-Pagan Mysteries, Part 8: Exoteric and Esoteric Ritual

Neo-Pagan ritual may function as a celebration of and an experience of connection with nature; as a celebration of and acceptance of change in our own lives; as an honoring and welcoming of parts of ourselves that have been neglected or rejected; and an experience of the loss of the sense of self and of union with the transcendent. Neo-Pagan ritual can focus on any one of these functions, or it can do more than one. All of them are important. Different people may experience the same ritual differently. [Read more...]

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Branches of the Deep Ecology Tree: Ecopsychology: Reuniting mind and nature

Much of modern psychology assumes a divide between inner reality (mind) and outer reality (nature). The central problem of ecopsychology is to overcome this divide. The human mind does not stand wholly apart from the natural world, but is deeply rooted in and intertwined with it. Ecopsychology sees the human psyche as a phenomenon of nature, an aspect of the larger “psyche” of nature or “soul of the world” (anima mundi). By ignoring this relationship between the mind and nature, modern psychology helps to perpetuate the Western industrial world’s destructive state of estrangement from its Earth home, which has disastrous consequences for both our psyches and for the environment. Ecopsychologists maintain that the pursuit of mental and emotional well-being, on the one hand, and environmental health, on the other, are closely intertwined tasks — indeed, they are inseparable. [Read more...]

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Gods I have known, Part 2: Macrocosm

the-macrocosm-and-the-microcosm

What is the relationship between the gods of my psyche and the gods of nature? They are not the same, but the are connected, connected through me. The morning sun rising in the east and the Bright Youth are not the same, but the sun I see through my window in the morning does call to the Bright Youth in me. And the Bright Youth responds. The earth I touch with my fingers calls to the Mother, in both her guises, Nurturing and Devouring. The bright green shoots rising from the earth and the green leaves on the trees on my street in the spring, these call to the Stag King. I am a clearing where the gods within and the gods without meet. [Read more...]

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Gods I have known, Part 1: Microcosm

"Zeus no longer rules Olympus but rather the solar plexus." -- Carl Jung

I have come to know many other gods. They were always present with me, but I discovered their names and their words of invocation in the myths of antiquity, in the literature of today, and in my dreams. I invoke these gods and goddesses at my altar. I pour libations to them in their seasons. I honor them and hold each sacred in their time and place. [Read more...]

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Lateral Transcendence: Toward Greater Compassion

My minister at the Unitarian congregation I attend recently started a sermon series on “Dangerous Words”, which include words like “prayer” and “sin”.  That there are considered “dangerous words” says a lot about Unitarianism.  Anyway, it got me thinking about what would be considered a “dangerous word” to Pagans.  The first one that popped into [Read More...]

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Who are we talking to anyway?: Humanistic Paganism and the gods

Over at The Wild Hunt, Brendan Myers has posted a guest article about whether Humanist Paganism is on the rise.  It has stirred up some controversy in the comments section. Old Gods and New Orthodoxy What was most interesting to me were the comments of several polytheists that Paganism and atheism are incompatible because Paganism [Read More...]

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